NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

NERSC Center News


NERSC to Provide Resources to INCITE Projects Studying Combustion, Fusion Energy, Materials and Accelerator Design

December 19, 2008

Researchers tackling some of the most challenging scientific problems, from improving energy efficiency in combustion devices to developing new particle accelerators for scientific discovery to studying properties of new materials, have been awarded access to supercomputing resources at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Read More »

NERSC Releases Software Test for Its Next Supercomputer

September 12, 2008

The Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is looking for a new supercomputer, but is not willing to spend millions of dollars on just any machine. The computer scientists and engineers want to know that their new supercomputer can reliably handle a diverse scientific workload, so they’ve developed the Sustained System Performance (SSP) Benchmarks, a comprehensive test for any system they consider. Read More »

NOAA Awarded 2.6 Million Processor Hours at NERSC to Run Climate Change Models

September 11, 2008

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science will make available more than 10 million hours of computing time for the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to explore advanced climate change models at three of DOE’s national laboratories as part of a three-year memorandum of understanding on collaborative climate research signed today by the two agencies. Read More »


Global Reach: NERSC Helps Manage and Analyze LHC Data

September 1, 2008

Over 15 million gigabytes of data per year will need to be stored, processed, backed up, and distributed to researchers across the world, when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) begins smashing together beams of protons to search for new particles and forces, and beams of heavy nuclei to study new states of matter. Managing this mountain of data requires an international effort, with portions of the beams of protons to search for new particles and forces, and beams of heavy nuclei to study new… Read More »

New Line of Security for NERSC Computers

September 1, 2008

The supercomputers at NERSC have a new line of defense against hackers with the installation of a specially instrumented version of SSH. This version of SSH allows NERSC’s intrusion detection systems to analyze user activity while maintaining the security and privacy advantages of using SSH. “In the past few years SSH has become a standard and is required for all users logging into NERSC systems,” says Craig Lant, NERSC Security Analyst. SSH is a security program that provides secure… Read More »

Workshop on Risk Management Techniques and Practice for HPC Centers

September 1, 2008

On September 17 and 18, managers and key staff from high performance computing centers (HPCC) across the globe arrived in San Francisco, Calif. for a DOE workshop on risk management techniques and practice. Participants discussed current and emerging techniques, practices, and lessons learned for effectively identifying, understanding, managing, and mitigating risks associated with acquiring leading-edge computing systems at HPCCs.“High-performance computing, by its very nature, is an… Read More »

Ninth Annual ACTS Workshop Tackles “Building Robust, Scalable, and Portable Software”

September 1, 2008

Forty applications and tool developers from around the globe met at the Berkeley Lab’s Oakland Scientific Facility, home of NERSC, on August 19–22, for the 9th annual Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection workshop on “Building Robust, Scalable and Portable Software.”The four-day workshop introduced the ACTS Collection to scientists whose research demands include large amounts of computation, complex software integration, distributed computing, the use of robust numerical… Read More »

Visualization Team Develops Benchmark for Scientific Graphics Software

September 1, 2008

The NERSC Analytics Team has developed a benchmark for the high performance graphics industry standard OpenGL, called svPerfGL. This benchmark focuses on measuring OpenGL rendering performance in the presence of extremely heavy graphics payload with relatively few OpenGL state changes, which is a typical of a workload incurred by scientific visualization applications. In contrast, industry standard benchmarks like SPECviewperf generate workloads typical of CAD and gaming applications, which do… Read More »

Delegation from France’s Strategic Council for HPC Visits LBNL

September 1, 2008

On Wednesday, August 27, a delegation from the French Strategic Council for High Performance Computing visited with Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences managers and staff to discuss research in scientific data management, algorithm development, computer architectures, collaborations with the University of California Berkeley, and other issues ranging from staffing to budgeting. The council was established by the French Ministry of Research to advise the government on investments and research… Read More »

New at NERSC Profiles

September 1, 2008

Shane Canon, Group Leader for Data Systems Group Shane Canon credits the cool, breezy climate and cosmopolitan cultural diversity of California’s Bay Area for bringing him back toBerkeley and NERSC, after a three-year stint at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. And, the new job was nice too. He will be leading the new Data Systems Group, which will be responsible for the NERSC Global Filesystem (NGF) and associated activities within the center.“I like to tell people at NERSC… Read More »

Orbach Presented Souvenir from Seaborg

June 1, 2008

As part of his visit to Berkeley Lab on Friday, May 30, DOE Under Secretary of Science Ray Orbach met with representatives of Computing Sciences. ALD Horst Simon and NERSC Director Kathy Yelick opened the meeting by presenting Orbach with a framed memento from the decommissioned IBM supercomputer Seaborg and thanking him for his support of computational science.The Under Secretary quickly showed his knowledge of computing technology and asked if that was the Power 3 machine, and this led to… Read More »

NERSC Users Report 6,500 Scientific Publications in Five Years

June 1, 2008

Over a five-year period, researchers using HPC systems at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have reported producing 6,593 scientific publications as a result of running their applications at NERSC. Beginning in 2003, NERSC staff have asked users to list resulting publications as they request allocations for the coming year. The number of publications has grown steadily in each of the five years in which the data has been collected. In… Read More »


June 1, 2008

NERSC staff presented their work at the Open Source Grid & Cluster Conference, which showcased the latest grid and cluster software, including Globus, Grid Engine, Rocks, Ganglia and UniCluster Express. The conference took place May 12-16 in Oakland. Shreyas Cholia, who has worked on connecting NERSC systems to the Open Science Grid, gave a talk about NERSC’s certification authority service. He, along with Dan Gunter and Brian Tierney from the Computational Research Division (CRD) at… Read More »

NERSC Researcher John Shalf Discusses Low-Power Supercomputer

May 9, 2008

Microprocessors from portable electronics like iPods could yield low-cost, low-power supercomputers for specialized scientific applications, according to computer scientist John Shalf. Read More »

High Performance Humanities

May 8, 2008

On April 21, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced something new: they would be teaming up with the U.S. Department of Energy to offer one million CPU hours on supercomputers at NERSC for use by researchers in the humanities. See this article at HPCwire.... Read More »


Berkeley Lab Researchers Propose a New Breed of Supercomputers for Improving Global Climate Predictions

May 5, 2008

Three researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have proposed an innovative way to improve global climate change predictions by using a supercomputer with low-power embedded microprocessors, an approach that would overcome limitations posed by today’s conventional supercomputers. Read More »


May 1, 2008

CONTENT MASTER Harvey Wasserman from the Science-Driven System Architecture Team has been chosen as chair of the technical program for SC07, which will take place in Reno in November. COGNITIVE COMPUTING, BETTER SEARCHING NERSC and CITRIS, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, co-hosted two meetings at UC Berkeley this month that focused on cognitive computing and online search technologies. NERSC Director Horst Simon gave the opening remark in both… Read More »

The Greening of High Performance Computing

April 10, 2008

Will power consumption become the limiting factor for future growth in high performance computing (HPC)? Berkeley Lab's Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences, Horst Simon, addressed this topic in the Distinguished Lecture Series in Petascale Simulation at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences and the Texas Advanced Computing Center on April 10, 2008. Available by webcast. Read More »

Living the Vision: A Profile of Kathy Yelick

April 8, 2008

Featured in the February / March 2008 issue of the European magazine Scientific Computing World, a profile of NERSC Division Director Kathy Yelick titled "Living the Vision." Read More »

Making “Parallel Programming” Synonymous with “Programming”

March 24, 2008

UPCRC research targets single-socket parallel programming for mainstream computing and applications. Read more in this article with an interview of NERSC Director Kathy Yelick. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Researchers Lead Parallel Computing Research Center at UC Berkeley

March 18, 2008

Computing sciences researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are part of a team leading a new research center in a partnership with Intel and Microsoft to accelerate developments in parallel computing and advance the powerful benefits of multicore processing to mainstream consumer and business computers. Read More »

Making Impact on Science

March 1, 2008

With its mission to support both high-impact and broad-impact science, NERSC is providing DOE 678.51 million MPP hours on its four supercomputers in 2008 for research in disciplines that include climate, material science, astrophysics, life sciences, computer science and combustion.  NERSC can offer more computing resources this year thanks to the new Cray XT4, named Franklin after Benjamin Franklin. With three other supercomputers available to serve its 3,000 users, NERSC continues to… Read More »

Cray Workshop

March 1, 2008

NERSC hosted a recent Cray Technical Workshop, which included presentations from NERSC staff and scientists who have used Cray supercomputers for their research.The workshop, which took place in San Francisco last month, featured  Bill Kramer, Zhengji Zhao and Katie Antypas from NERSC. Kramer, NERSC’s General Manager, talked about the deployment of Franklin, the new Cray XT4 bought last year. Zhao, a consultant, discussed the performance of VAST on Franklin. VAST (Vienna Ab initioSimulation… Read More »

Sharing Expertise

March 1, 2008

  NERSC and the Swiss National  Computing Centre (CSCS) have signed a  memorandum of understanding for a staff  exchange program between the two centers.  The agreement gives more formal structure to already existing ties between the  two centers. Berkeley Lab Associate  Director for Computing Sciences Horst Simon is a member of the CSCS advisory  board. Both centers also share a common technological focus, having selected  Cray XT supercomputers as their primary  systems after… Read More »


March 1, 2008

SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING ARTICLE An article on the role and successes of the SciDAC Outreach  Center, which is run by NERSC researcher David Skinner,  appeared in a recent issue of Scientific Computing magazine.   David Skinner  SciDAC (Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing)  is a DOE Office of Science program that supports the development of software tools for tackling research using terascale  computers. The Outreach Center, launched last year, serves as  a clearinghouse for… Read More »

A Modest Proposal for Petascale Computing

February 8, 2008

LBNL researchers have started to explore what a multi-petaflop computer architecture might look like. Read more from an editorial in the February 8 issue of HPCwire titled “A Modest Proposal for Petascale Computing.” Read More »

Leading Supercomputing Centers in Switzerland and United States to Share Staff Expertise, Experience

February 7, 2008

The Swiss National Computing Centre (CSCS) and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have signed a memorandum of understanding for a staff exchange program between the two centers. Read More »

DOE Allocates NERSC Supercomputing Resources to Research Combustion, Climate Change, Energy, Accelerators

January 17, 2008

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it is allocating about 10.4 million CPU hours on supercomputers at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of a program to accelerate scientific discoveries in multiple disciplines, including climate, physics, combustion and material science. Read More »