Usable Exascale and Beyond Moore's Law

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[masked]: "Usable Exascale and Beyond Moore's Law" Horst Simon

-- Deputy Laboratory Director @ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


As documented by the TOP500, high performance computing (HPC) has been the beneficiary of uninterrupted growth, and performance of the top HPC systems doubled about every year until 2004, when Dennard scaling tapered off. This was based on the contributions of Moore’s law and the increasing parallelism in the highest end system. Continued HPC system performance increases were then obtained by doubling parallelism. However, over the last five years HPC performance growth has been slowing measurably, and in this presentation several reasons for this slowdown will be analyzed. To reach usable exascale performance over the next decade, some fundamental changes will have to occur in HPC systems architecture. In particular, a transition from a compute centric to a data movement centric point of view needs to be considered. Alternatives including quantum and neuromorphic computing have also been considered. The prospects of these technologies for post-Moore’s Law supercomputing will be explored.


Horst Simon is an internationally recognized expert in computer science and applied mathematics and the Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Simon joined Berkeley Lab in early 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location in Berkeley. Under his leadership NERSC enabled important discoveries for research in fields ranging from global climate modeling to astrophysics. Simon was also the founding director of Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics.
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