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NERSC Center News

NERSC Launches Data-intensive Science Pilot Program

April 12, 2012

Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is launching a new initiative to support DOE-relevant, data-intensive science pilot projects for up to 18 months. “NERSC has long understood the importance of data intensive science and has supported the analysis of data streams from telescopes, detectors, and sequencers in addition to data coming from simulations run at NERSC," said Kathy Yelick, associate laboratory director for Computing Sciences at… Read More »

Breaking Ground on Computational Research and Theory Facility

February 1, 2012

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, along with Berkeley Lab and UC leaders, broke ground on the Lab’s Computational Research and Theory (CRT) facility, Wednesday, Feb. 1. The CRT will be at the forefront of high-performance supercomputing research and be DOE’s most efficient facility of its kind. Read More »

SciDAC Outreach Center Participates in “Materials for Energy Applications” Workshop

February 1, 2012

David Skinner of NERSC, who also heads the SciDAC Outreach Center, presented a poster on “Software Opportunities: Industry, ISVs [independent software vendors] and SciDAC" at a Berkeley Lab invitation-only workshop on Materials for Energy Applications. Read More »

Can Cloud Computing Address the Scientific Computing Requirements for DOE Researchers? Well, Yes, No and Maybe

January 30, 2012

After a two-year study of the feasibility of cloud computing systems for meeting the ever-increasing computational needs of scientists, Department of Energy researchers have issued a report stating that the cloud computing model is useful, but should not replace the centralized supercomputing centers operated by DOE national laboratories. Read More »

Powered by NERSC, a Database of Billions of Genes and Counting!

January 26, 2012

With computing and storage support from NERSC, the IMG/M data management system, which supports the analysis of microbial communities sequenced by the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute, crossed the boundry of 1 billion genes recorded in the system—more than any other similar system in the world. Read More »

Inspiring Careers in Science Research

January 21, 2012

In an effort to expose high school students to careers in science research, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Diversity Outreach Program partnered with San Francisco’s Lowell High School research program. Read More »

Jack Deslippe Joins NERSC User Services

December 19, 2011

As the newest material science and chemistry consultant in NERSC's User Services Group, Jack Deslippe will be building and evaluating material science packages, working with users on material science application needs, and providing general user support. Read More »

NERSC’s Steve Lowe: Driven to High Performance Machines

December 15, 2011

During his combined 29 years at Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley national labs, Steve Lowe has worked with some of the most powerful computing machinery anywhere. But come Jan. 3, he’ll trade in his career and home in Tracy for a new lifestyle – retiring and spending a few years exploring North America with his wife in an RV. Read More »

Berkeley Lab and NERSC Reach Out to Women in Computing

November 30, 2011

Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences staff reached out to women at the Grace Hopper Celebration in Portland, Ore. And, back in California, Katie Antypas, who heads NERSC's User Services Group, gave students from Mills College, historically a college for women, a lesson in parallel computing and a tour of the facility's supercomputers. This group also included a co-ed contingent from Mills College's graduate program. Read More »

Highlights From SC11

November 30, 2011

In November 2011, thousands of experts in computing and networking flocked to Seattle, Washington, to participate in tutorials, join panel discussions, lead sessions, give live demonstrations and talks, hold roundtable discussions, help build SCinet—the world's fastest science network—present posters and much more! Here are some highlights from this year's SC11 conference. Berkeley Lab's SC11 Booth - Top left and right photos by David Donofrio Prabhat and Yushu present 100G Demo- Bottom… Read More »

Accelerating Advanced Material Development

October 31, 2011

Kristin Persson is one of the founding scientists behind the Materials Project, a computational tool aimed at taking the guesswork out of new materials discoveries, especially those aimed at energy applications like batteries. (Roy Kaltschmidt, LBNL) New materials are crucial to building a clean energy economy—for everything from batteries to photovoltaics to lighter weight vehicles—but today the development cycle is too slow: around 18 years from conception to commercialization. To speed… Read More »

NERSC Played Key Role in Nobel Laureate’s Discovery

October 4, 2011

Saul Perlmutter's, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, lead a team believed to have been the first to use supercomputers to analyze and validate observational data in cosmology. This melding of computational science and cosmology sowed the seeds for more projects, establishing Berkeley Lab and NERSC as centers for this new field. Read More »

Kathy Yelick Appointed to National Academies Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

September 15, 2011

Kathy Yelick Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences Kathy Yelick has been appointed to the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Academies, which includes the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. CSTB is composed of nationally recognized experts from across the information technology fields and complementary fields germane to the Board's interests in IT and society. Board members are appointed… Read More »

Srinivasan Named Head of NERSC’s Computational Systems Group

August 31, 2011

Jay Srinivasan has been selected as the Computational Systems Group Lead in the NERSC Systems Department. In this role, he will supervise the day-to-day operation of all of NERSC's computer systems. Prior to taking on his new assignment, Srinivasan was the team lead for the PDSF cluster that supports Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics. Srinivasan has more than 15 years of experience in high performance computing, both as a user and administrator. Since joining NERSC in 2001, he has worked… Read More »

Data Transfer Nodes Yield Results

August 1, 2011

The ability to reliably move and share data around the globe is essential to scientific collaboration, that’s why three Department of Energy (DOE) Scientific Computing Centers—Argonne and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facilities, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)—have teamed up to focus on optimizing wide area network (WAN) transfers. This ongoing effort began several years ago when each site deployed dedicated transfer nodes (DTNs), optimized for… Read More »

Data Tracking Increases Scientific Productivity

July 20, 2011

New supercomputers and networks are contributing to record levels of scientific productivity. To effectively meet the increasing scientific demand for storage systems and services, NERSC's staff must first understand how data moves within the facility. Now, a new dynamic database created by the NERSC Storage Systems Group has made this process easier than ever. Read More »

Hopper Among World’s Top 10 Fastest Computers

June 17, 2011

There are only 10 computers in the world with petaflops power—capable of calculating quadrillions of calculations in one second. According to the 37th edition of the Top500 List, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC’s) Cray XE6 “Hopper” system is one of them.   All of the systems on the TOP500 List are ranked on how fast they run Linpack, a benchmark application developed to solve a dense system of linear equations. With a Linpack benchmark performance… Read More »

Petaflops Power to NERSC

May 31, 2011

From left to right: Horst Simon (Berkeley Lab deputy director), Kathy Yelick (NERSC division director), Dan Hitchcock (DOE), Paul Alivisatos (Berkeley Lab director) standing in front of the Hopper supercomputer system recently accepted by NERSC. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) recently marked a major milestone, putting its first petascale supercomputer into the hands of its 4,000 scientific users. The flagship Cray XE6 system is called “Hopper” in honor of… Read More »

NERSC Users Showered With Accolades

April 29, 2011

April brought in a shower of accolades to longtime NERSC users. Read More »

NERSC Cited for Innovative Use of Globus Online

April 14, 2011

Globus Online was originally developed as a reliable and secure tool for moving data between remote sites, but NERSC staff also found that it could be used to easily move data between computing systems and the center's HPSS data archive. Read More »

Kathy Yelick Co-authors National Research Council Report

March 22, 2011

Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab and director of the lab’s NERSC Division, Kathy Yelick was a panelist in a March 22 discussion of "The Future of Computer Performance: Game Over or Next Level?” a new report by the National Research Council. Read More »

NERSC Hosts HS Students on Job Shadow Day

March 15, 2011

Eighteen students from Richmond's Kennedy High School's TechFutures Academy paid a visit to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Berkeley Lab's Oakland Science Facility on February 9, 2011. Read More »

Japanese Computing Center Discusses Potential Collaborations

February 26, 2011

Representatives from Japan’s Tsukuba University’s Center for Computational Sciences (CCS) visited Berkeley Lab on Feb. 24-25 to meet with researchers from NERSC and CRD and to explore areas of potential collaboration. Read More »

X-ray Image Bank Open for Business

February 22, 2011

Now open for business: A new data bank where scientists from around the world can deposit and share images generated by coherent x-ray light sources. Read More »

'Insights of the Decade' Enabled by NERSC

February 10, 2011

Three of ten "Insights of the Decade," as named by Science Magazine, were enabled in part by facilities and research in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Read More »

Richmond's Kennedy High Visits NERSC

February 10, 2011

Eighteen students from Richmond's Kennedy High School's TechFutures Academy paid a visit to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Berkeley Lab's Oakland Science Facility on February 9, 2011. Read More »

NERSC Users Pruess and Ramesh elected to National Academy of Engineering

February 9, 2011

Karsten Pruess of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division (ESD) and Ramamoorthy Ramesh of the Materials Sciences Division (MSD), both NERSC users, were elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Read More »

NERSC User James Drake Receives 2010 APS Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics

January 31, 2011

Long-time NERSC user James Drake has been awarded the 2010 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics, the highest honor bestowed to plasma physicists by the American Physical Society (APS). Read More »

Bobby Liu Joins NERSC as Postdoctoral Fellow

January 31, 2011

NERSC Computational Science Postdoctoral Fellow WangYi "Bobby" Liu joins staff. Read More »

NERSC Hosts Contra Costa College Parallel Computing Club

January 14, 2011

Eleven members of the Contra Costa College Parallel Computing Club paid a visit to NERSC at the Berkeley Lab's Oakland Science Facility on January 14. Read More »

Dirac Testbed Reveals How Applications are Written

January 7, 2011

Graphics processing units, or GPUs, may have been invented to power video games, but today these massively parallel devices are being pressed into high-performance computing, or HPC. With improving programming toolsets, commercial computer vendors have become more confident in selling GPU-accelerated systems but, in the world of science, GPUs are still almost as experimental as the problems they are expected to solve. Read More »

NERSC's Hopper Breaks Petaflops Barrier

November 14, 2010

The Department of Energy's NERSC is now home to the fifth most powerful computer in the world and the second most powerful in the United States, according to the latest edition of the TOP500 list. NERSC's newest supercomputer, a 153,408 processor-core Cray XE6 system, posted a top performance of 1.05 petaflops. Read More »

Kathy Yelick named Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences

September 15, 2010

Kathy Yelick has been named Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences. Yelick has been the director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) since 2008, a position she will continue to hold. Read More »

Metagenomics on a Cloud

June 30, 2010

One goal of the Magellan project is to understand which science applications and user communities are best suited for science cloud computing, in fact some DOE metagenomics researchers have already given public clouds a whirl. Their preliminary findings about the strengths and limitations of commercial cloud computing platforms will be extremely valuable as DOE explores cloud computing for science. Read More »

NERSC and HDF Group Optimize HDF5 Library to Improve I/O Performance

June 28, 2010

A common complaint among air travelers on short trips is that the time it takes to get in and out of the airplane and airports can be as long as the flight itself. In computer terms, that's a classic input/output (I/O) problem. Supercomputer users sometimes face a similar problem: the computer tears through the calculations with amazing speed, but the time it takes to write the resulting data to disk ends up slowing down the whole job. There are several layers of software that deal with… Read More »

Berkeley Lab Team Receives NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award

June 11, 2010

Three scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Computational Cosmology Center (C3) are being honored with a NASA Public Service Group Award for developing the supercomputing infrastructure for the U.S. Planck Team’s data and analysis operations at the Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Read More »

Grace Hopper Powers Science on NERSC's New Cray XE6

June 4, 2010

NERSC's new flagship petascale supercomputer will be named "Hopper" in honor of American computer scientist Grace Hopper. A pioneer in the field of software development and programming languages, Hopper created the first compiler. She was a champion for increasing the usability of computers, understanding that their power and reach would be limited unless they were made to be more user-friendly. Read More »

A New System at NERSC: Carver Goes into Production

May 28, 2010

A new system is in production at the Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Built on IBM iDataPlex technology, the new system is called "Carver" in honor of American scientist and inventor George Washington Carver. Read More »

NERSC and JGI Join Forces to Tackle Genomics HPC

April 19, 2010

To ensure that there is a robust computational infrastructure for managing, storing and gleaning scientific insights from this ever-growing flood of data, JGI is joining forces with the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Division (NERSC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), which serves more than 3,500 science users annually who are researching problems in a variety of disciplines from combustion to climate. Read More »

Magellan Explores Cloud Computing for DOE's Scientific Mission

March 30, 2010

Cloud computing is gaining traction in the commercial world, with companies like Amazon, Google, and Yahoo offering pay-to-play cycles to help organizations meet cyclical demands for extra computing power. But can such an approach also meet the computing and data storage demands of the nation's scientific community? Read More »

Hopper (Phase 1) Prepares NERSC for Petascale Computing

February 26, 2010

After several months of rigorous scientific testing, the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) has accepted a 5,312-core Cray XT5 machine, called Hopper (Phase 1). Read More »

Historic Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Data, Carried by ESnet, Lives on at NERSC

January 26, 2010

Tunneled 6,800 feet underground in Canada's Vale Inco Creighton mine, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) was designed to detect neutrinos produced by fusion reactions in the Sun. Although the observatory officially "switched off" in August 2006, a copy of all the data generated for and by the experiment will live on at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Read More »

Hybrid Multicore Consortium Tackles Programming Challenges

November 18, 2009

While hybrid multicore technologies will be a critical component in future high-end computing systems, most of today's scientific applications will require a significant re-engineering effort to take advantage of the resources provided by these systems. To address this challenge, three U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, including the Berkeley Lab, and two leading universities have formed the Hybrid Multicore Consortium, or HMC, and held their first meeting at SC09. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Selects IBM Technology to Power Cloud Computing Research

November 16, 2009

IBM and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) announced today that an IBM System x iDataPlex server will run the Lab's program to explore how cloud computing can be used to advance scientific discovery. Read More »

NERSC Results Help University of Florida Student Win Metropolis Award

October 30, 2009

Chao Cao was awarded the 2009 Metropolis Award for outstanding doctoral thesis work in computational physics earlier this year by the American Physical Society. His award-winning thesis, "First-Principles and Multi-Scale Modeling of Nano-Scale Systems," was honored for creatively using a variety of computational tools to reveal physical mechanisms in complex materials, and for developing a computing architecture that allows massively parallel multi-scale simulation of physical systems. Read More »

NERSC Uses Stimulus Funds to Overcome Software Challenges for Scientific Computing

October 30, 2009

A "multi-core" revolution is occurring in computer chip technology. No longer able to sustain the previous growth period where processor speed was continually increasing, chip manufacturers are instead producing multi-core architectures that pack increasing numbers of cores onto the chip. In the arena of high performance scientific computing, this revolution is forcing programmers to rethink the basic models of algorithm development, as well as parallel programming from both the language and parallel decomposition process. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Researchers Prepare U.S. Climate Community for 100-Gigabit Data Transfers

October 30, 2009

Climate 100, funded with $201,000 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will bring together middleware and network researchers to develop the needed tools and techniques for moving unprecedented amounts of data. Read More »

Increase in IO Bandwidth to Enhance Future Understanding of Climate Change

August 6, 2009

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)—in collaboration with the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) located at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Cray—recently achieved an effective aggregate IO bandwidth of 5 Gigabytes/sec for writing output from a global atmospheric model to shared files on DOE's "Franklin," a 39,000-processor Cray XT4 supercomputer located at NERSC. The work is part of a Science Application Partnership funded under DOE's SciDAC program. Read More »

National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) Awards Supercomputer Contract to Cray

August 5, 2009

The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced today that a contract for its next generation supercomputing system will be awarded to Cray Inc. The multi-year supercomputing contract includes delivery of a Cray XT5™ massively parallel processor supercomputer, which will be upgraded to a future-generation Cray supercomputer. When completed, the new system will deliver a peak performance of more than one petaflops, equivalent to more than one quadrillion calculations per second. Read More »

Jeff Broughton Brings 30 Years of HPC Experience to NERSC as New Head of Systems Department

July 31, 2009

Jeffrey M. Broughton, who has 30 years of HPC and management experience, has accepted the position of Systems Department Head at the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Broughton, who most recently served as senior director of engineering at QLogic Corp., joins NERSC on Monday, August 3. Read More »

NERSC Hosts Workshop About the Dawn of Exascale Storage

July 31, 2009

This month, the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) hosted the first workshop that discussed strategies for managing and storing the influx of new archival data that will be produced in the exascale era, when supercomputers will be capable of achieving quintillions (1,000 quadrillion) of calculations per second. Experts predict that DOE's first exascale supercomputer for scientific research will be deployed in 2018. Read More »

NERSC's Franklin Supercomputer Upgraded to Double Its Scientific Capability

July 20, 2009

The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center has officially accepted a series of upgrades to its Cray XT4 supercomputer, providing the facility's 3,000 users with twice as many processor cores and an expanded file system for scientific research. NERSC's Cray supercomputer is named Franklin in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the United States' pioneering scientist. Read More »

NERSC Builds Gateways for Science Sharing

May 26, 2009

Programmers at the Department of Energy's National Energy Scientific Research Computing Center (NERSC) are working with science users to design custom web browser interfaces and analytics tools, a service called “science gateways,” which will make it easier for them to share their data with a larger community of researchers. Read More »

NERSC Delivers 59.9 Petabytes of Storage with Cutting-Edge Technology

May 26, 2009

NERSC's High Performance Storage System (HPSS) can now hold 59.9 petabytes of scientific data — equivalent to all the music, videos or photos that could be stored on approximately 523,414 iPod classics filled to capacity. This 37-petabyte increase in HPSS storage was made possible by deploying cutting-edge technologies Read More »

VisIt Supported on Cray Systems

May 26, 2009

Scientists computing on NERSC's Cray XT4 system, called Franklin, can have it all. Now that VisIt, one of the most popular frameworks for scientific visualization, is available on Franklin, users can run their simulations on the machine and visualize the output there too. Read More »

Speeding Up Science Data Transfers Between Department of Energy Facilities

May 16, 2009

As scientists conduct cutting-edge research with ever more sophisticated techniques, instruments, and supercomputers, the data sets that they must move, analyze, and manage are increasing in size to unprecedented levels. The ability to move and share data is essential to scientific collaboration, and in support of this activity network and systems engineers from the Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) are teaming up to optimize wide-area network (WAN) data transfers. Read More »

NERSC Increases System Storage and Security for Users

April 28, 2009

Throughout the month of March the Cray XT4 machine Franklin underwent a series of upgrades and improvements, including a major I/O upgrade. The disk capacity of the scratch file system was increased by 30% to 460 TB, and the I/O bandwidth was nearly tripled to an aggregate write performance of 32 GB/sec, compared to 11 GB/s before the upgrade. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Checkpoint Restart Improves Productivity

March 30, 2009

The new version Berkeley Lab Checkpoint Restart (BCLR) software, released in January 2009, could mean that scientists running extensive calculations will be able to recover from major crashes – if they are running on a Linux system. This open-source software preemptively saves the state of applications using the Message Passing Interface (MPI), the most widely used mechanism for communication among processors working concurrently on a single problem. Read More »

Green Flash Project Runs First Prototype Successfully

March 11, 2009

Berkeley Lab’s Green Flash project, which is exploring the feasibility of building a new class of energy-efficient supercomputers for climate modeling, has successfully reached its first milestone by running the atmospheric model of a full climate code on a logical prototype of a Green Flash processor. Read More »

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,… 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 »

The Next Step in Powering Computers

November 5, 2007

A report by Richard Hart of KGO-TV (ABC 7 in San Francisco) describes the expanding energy consumption of data centers — and how some large Silicon Valley companies are now building outside the area because they can't get enough electricity. Read More »

National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center Announces Acceptance of One of the World's Largest Supercomputers

November 1, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Cray Inc. today announced the successful completion of the acceptance test of one of the world’s largest supercomputers. Installed at the DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the powerful Cray XT4™ system contains nearly 20,000 processor cores and has a top processing speed of more than 100 teraflops. Read More »

Model Comparisons

November 1, 2007

Scientists from the Advanced Plasma Microturbulence Project have published several papers recently that show how they resolve the significant differences between two types of electron temperature gradient (ETG) turbulence simulations in fusion research. The researchers have been running simulations at NERSC using particle-in-cell (PIC) and continuum gyrokinetic codes in order to reconcile the large gap of electron thermal conductivity values between the two types of simulations.Investigating… Read More »


November 1, 2007

VISIT FROM STUTTGART COMPUTING CENTER DELEGATION Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, and three senior representatives of the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), visited Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and NERSC in October. The visitors were particularly interested in energy-efficient architectural designs being drawn up for Berkeley Lab's planned Computational Research and Theory facility, which will house both NERSC and the Computational Research… Read More »

Prof. Kathy Yelick Named New Director for DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center

October 29, 2007

Dr. Katherine A. Yelick BERKELEY, Calif.—Kathy Yelick, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley and an internationally recognized expert in developing methods to advance the use of supercomputers, has been named director of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). NERSC is DOE’s flagship computing center for unclassified research and is managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The center provides… Read More »

Up to Speed

May 1, 2007

A DOE workshop hosted by NERSC  brought together the international supercomputing community in May to identify  challenges for deploying petascale systems,  a collaboration that resulted in a series of  recommendations.  The two-day meeting in San Francisco  attracted about 70 participants from roughly  30 supercomputer centers, vendors, other  research institutions and DOE program  managers from Advanced Scientific  Computing Research (ASCR),… Read More »

Wanted: Killer Apps

May 1, 2007

NERSC staff members are playing an  increasingly active role in high-performance computing software integration and  development, as they face a greater  demand for marrying software from a  variety of supercomputer makers with  applications from a wide range of scientific fields.  That’s the message from David  Skinner, head of NERSC’s Open  Software and Programming Group, which  carries out in-house software development and deployment projects to help  researchers run their… Read More »

Open for Science

May 1, 2007

More NERSC users can now launch  and manage their work at multiple computing sites by going through a centralized  grid, thanks to efforts to connect NERSC’s  systems to the Open Science Grid (OSG).  The SGI Altix 350 visualization server,  named DaVinci, joined the OSG last  month, the latest in a long-range plan to  connect all NERSC supercomputers to the  grid, said Shreyas Cholia, a member of  the Open Software and Programming  Group at NERSC.   Making NERSC part of the more… Read More »

Swiss Connection

May 1, 2007

  NERSC General Manager Bill Kramer (left) led a tour of NERSC’s computer room for visitors from the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. The man from right is Richard Alexander (Senior System Engineer), Hussein Harake (System Engineer), Domink Ulmer (COO, Head of Administration) and Ladina Gily (Event Manager, HR Manager, Head of Facility Management).   NERSC hosted four visitors from CSCS (Swiss National Supercomputing Centre) last Friday, May 4. After NERSC staff members gave… Read More »

Confronting Parallelism: The View from Berkeley

March 2, 2007

To explore the important new paper on the challenges of parallelism, "The View from Berkeley," HPCwire talked with NERSC computer scientist John Shalf and David Patterson, professor of computer science at UC-Berkeley. Shalf and Patterson are among the co-authors of "The View from Berkeley. Read More »

Cray Delivers First Third of the Franklin XT4 System to NERSC

January 16, 2007

On Tuesday, January 16, 2007, NERSC received the first installment of its new Cray XT4 supercomputer. Although a test system had been delivered the previous fall, the delivery of 36 cabinets (including 3,336 computational dual core nodes) marks the start of the installation of the full system, which is expected to go into production this summer. Read More »

DOE INCITE Program Awards Large Allocations at NERSC to Study Supernovae, Fusion Energy, Climate Change, Combustion, Chemistry and Accelerator Design

January 8, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it has allocated a large amount of supercomputing resources from the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of an initiative to accelerate scientific research and promote innovations in public institutions and private industry. Read More »

Horst Simon Steps Down As NERSC Director

December 12, 2006

Horst Simon, who has been director of DOE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) since early 1996, announced last month that he was stepping down in order to focus his energy on the two other positions he holds at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Once a new director for NERSC is hired, Simon will concentrate on his duties as Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences and Computational Research Division (CRD) Director. With the search for a new NERSC leader officially under way, Simon took some time to talk about his decision and how he sees his future. Read More »