Researchers get supercomputer time from DOE

Sixty-six scientific projects won access to the Energy Department’s supercomputers as part of an annual competition, DOE announced Dec. 18.

The projects were competitively selected for their technical readiness and scientific merit. The projects focus on areas including astrophysics, climate change, new materials, energy production and biology, the department said.

University researchers, DOE scientists, commercial companies and others won the awards, department officials said.

DOE’s Office of Science is coordinating the program to provide access to supercomputers at the department's national laboratories. DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program will allocate the supercomputing and data storage resources, the department said.

The selection process included a peer review of each proposal for scientific merit and computational readiness, DOE said, adding that nearly 900 million processor hours will be awarded to 25 new projects and 41 renewal projects.

DOE increased the size of its supercomputing systems over the last year, agency officials said. The 2009 INCITE allocations awarded a total of 889 million processor hours — more than three times the amount allocated in 2008.

One million hours equals 10,000 processors running for 100 hours, or just over four days. Running a 1 million-hour project on a dual-processor desktop computer would take more than 57 years, according to DOE officials.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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