Supercomputing Road Trip: Pacific Northwest Kickoff

The 2022 Great American Supercomputing Road Trip started off with a bang with my first stop at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Richland, Washington — about 250 miles from base.

It was my first visit to the lab and I came away very impressed with their ambitious plans and the scope and depth of their work. In total, we spoke to five people, as you can see in the video below.

We started with Robert Rallo, the director of PNNL’s Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division. We discussed the lab’s mission and how they use highly advanced computing to accomplish it.

I also spoke with Kevin Barker, the group leader of their HPC group (did you know the government is working on new accelerators? I didn’t.) We went into all sorts of detail about the technology Current and future HPC and how it could be used by the lab.

As you’ll see in the interview, Mahantesh Halappanavar, Acting Group Leader of their Data Science and Artificial Intelligence group, really knows his graph analyzes and strives to make these difficult problems more parallel and faster. to calculate.

Vito Castellana, senior researcher, has hardware in his blood even if today he mainly works with software (compilers and others). He is working towards a mind-boggling goal: designing the technology where any developer can design a custom hardware accelerator for their unique code. It might take the form of an FPGA in the early days, but over time will become full-fledged ASICs or processors. It’s only a small step today, but Vito explains how it could become a reality in the medium term.

Gotcen Koster also has a dream. She wants to make sure that scientists never have to think about how their code will be processed by the computer. She envisions a compiler that will automatically compile code for any or all accelerator/CPU combinations without scientists having to get their hands dirty. She explains how it would work and the benefits we might see in her part of the interview.

I have to thank PNNL PR specialist Tom Ricky for organizing this leg of the tour. I also have to thank HPE, Cornelis Networks, Giga I/O and Dell Technologies for making this road trip possible. And of course, without our friends at HPCwire, you wouldn’t be reading this and watching the video. I should fax it to you or something, shouldn’t I?

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