100 teraFLOPS Dedicated to Capability Computing
The Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program's Purple system stands
in testimony to the successful realization of the bold vision expressed one decade
earlier—the development of the complex three-dimensional integrated weapons
performance applications and their demonstration on computers capable of successfully
running these extraordinary codes.
ASC Purple was a partnership between the DOE/NNSA
Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (historically known as ASCI, now
ASC) and IBM Corporation with
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as the lead laboratory.
The ASC Purple contract scheduled the demonstration of 100-teraFLOPS peak performance
in June 2005. This represents the contract for the long-held major milestone
in the ASC program conceived in 1996—achieving 100 teraFLOPS
for the simulation of performance and safety for the Stockpile Stewardship Program.
In 1996, the three ASC Laboratories (Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory,
Los Alamos National Laboratory and
Sandia National Laboratories) each had approximately
50-gigaFLOPS peak computational capability.
ASC Purple at Lawrence Livermore National
The ASC program accelerated the United States computer industry to meet the
100-teraFLOPS goal in the 2004–2005 timeframe. With this IBM contract,
the NNSA/ASC program met this goal as planned. The total contract value for
ASC Purple and ancillary equipment was $230 million. This contract had multiple
deliveries of hardware to Livermore, of which Purple and BlueGene/L
are the two major components. Purple is the 100-teraFLOPS (1.0×1014
or one hundred trillion floating-point operations per second) system. It is a
genuinely huge machine based on symmetric shared-memory multiprocessors (SMP)
containing more than 12,000 next-generation IBM POWER5 microprocessors.
Purple requires 7.5 MW of electrical power for the computer and cooling equipment,
the equivalent electrical power of 7,500 average homes. Additionally, the full
system generates more than 16,000,000 Btu/h in heat, requiring new air-handling
designs and specifications. For more information about ASC Purple, read the SuperComputing2005
ASC Purple brochure.
ASC Purple is housed in the Terascale
Simulation Facility (TSF).
The ASC Program appointed a team to formulate a governance model for allocating
resources and scheduling the stockpile stewardship workload on ASC capability
systems. The document describes a model that is devised to allocate capability-computing
resources for weapons laboratory deliverables that merit priority on this class
of resource and that cannot be reasonably attempted on other resources. For
additional details, see the Capability
Compute System Scheduling Governance Model for the ASC Program.