NNSA Issues Request for Proposal for the Next Great Supercomputing Platform

Press Release
Sep 17, 2009
Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories take lead on project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that a request for proposal has been issued for a new platform for capability computing. The new capability platform will be named Mesa and is targeted for installment in 2010. Mesa will support the needs of all three NNSA national laboratories.

The Mesa platform is being developed jointly under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The MOU describes the NNSA New Mexico Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scales (ACES). While the MOU is broad in scope, ACES is devoted to providing high performance capability computing assets required by NNSA's stockpile stewardship mission.

"This new platform to conduct computing at extreme capabilities will allow NNSA to continue to maintain the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation's nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "NNSA is proud that our investment in nuclear security has produced some of the world's fastest supercomputers. We are confident that the Mesa platform will be our next groudbreaking platform, which will enable Los Alamos and Sandia to continue to make critical contributions advancing science and discovery."

Both Los Alamos and Sandia labs are committed to continuing their leadership in high performance computational science and technology. Both institutions have separate and significant capabilities in architecture and design for future platforms and are committed to working together on the Mesa platform, which will be accessible to the NNSA tri-lab community. Staff from both laboratories will be brought together to execute this responsibility with Sandia leading the design effort and Los Alamos leading operations.

As part of the Alliance, both laboratories will share intellectual capabilities and capitalize on their existing expertise in developing architectures and designs for future platforms that push the boundaries of technology and scale.

Los Alamos' Strategic Computing Complex facility will house high-performance capability computing assets needed to support NNSA's ongoing stockpile stewardship mission, and to meet the NNSA Advanced Simulation and Computing  roadmap timeline requirement for an exascale capability by 2018.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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