DOE Awards AMD $32M to Research Exascale Computing

AMD will be developing an exascale node architecture using its own Heterogeneous System Architecture-based APUs.

AMD Logo The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Advanced Micro Devices a $32 million grant for exascale computing research as part of the DOE FastForward 2 program, the company said. AMD will be developing an exascale node architecture using its own Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA)-based APUs and a "new generation of memory interfaces," the company said. The DOE's FastForward 2 initiative is intended to develop eventual commercial technology applications, the chip maker noted, so the IP "created as part of this research will make its way into various future AMD products." The DOE grant is the third in as many years awarded to AMD. The company's earlier research for the department includes work on interconnect architectures and massive processing node projects. "This is a big deal for the industry. Exascale supercomputers will be capable of performing more than one quintillion, or a billion billion calculations per second, roughly 30 to 60 times faster than today's fastest available supercomputers," AMD chief technology officer Mark Papermaster said in a blog post. "This research aims to deliver those huge increases in performance—without significant increases in energy consumption—to enable advances in diverse fields ranging from medical science to astrophysics and climate modeling. These could arrive as prototypes over the next several years, with full production units early in the next decade." Papermaster said he expected AMD's newly funded research into exascale computing to "aid any form of high-performance computing, including managing vast quantities of information for Big Data analytics and for rapidly processing the massive wave of anticipated Web requests."
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