NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

Research and Development

As well as providing production computing services NERSC also participates in research and development activities in order to ensure the high performance computing systems of the future continue to meet the needs of scientists.

Benchmarking & Workload Characterization

NERSC assess available HPC system solutions using a combination of application benchmarks and microbenchmarks. By understanding the requirements of the NERSC workload we drive changes in computing architecture that will result in better HPC system architectures for scientific computing in future generation machines. Read More »


  Alliance for Application Performance at Extreme Scale   NERSC has partnered with the Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scale (ACES) collaboration of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) to form the Alliance for Application Performance at Extreme Scale (APEX). The focus of the APEX collaboration is on Application Performance of High Performance Computers. and on meeting the mission needs of its partners and in pursuing Advanced Technology concepts. We… Read More »

Exascale Computing

Learn about NERSC's research and development of exascale computing systems that deliver high impact across science domains, and demonstrate a new model for interaction between laboratories and vendors to create highly effective computing platforms. Read More »

Energy Aware Computing

Dynamic Frequency Scaling One means to lower the energy required to compute is to reduce the power usage on a node. One way to accomplish this is by lowering the frequency at which the CPU operates. However, reducing the clock speed increases the time to solution, creating a potential tradeoff. NERSC continues to examine how such methods impact its operations and its workload.  Read a related paper: "Measurement and interpretation of micro benchmark and application energy use on the Cray… Read More »

KNL Cache Mode Performance

KNL's MCDRAM cache is prone to cache thrashing, which can be detrimental to application performance and performance reproducibility. NERSC initiated and led a Center of Excellence, including participants from Cray, Intel, ACES and ALCF, to minimize cache thrashing on Cori. These efforts improved the average performance of some benchmark tests by 2x. This page summarizes the results from the COE and provides guidance to users about how to minimize this issue for their applications. … Read More »


Strategic Partnerships in Advanced Computing @ NERSC Scientific computing is an increasingly important ingredient in technological innovation. The same HPC capabilities that enable scientific discovery can be powerful tools in energy resource modeling, device simulation, and model-based design. Through allocation programs described below, NERSC partners with researchers in public and private sectors to develop new capabilities in modeling, simulation and data analytics. Over 5,000 scientists… Read More »

Shifter: User Defined Images

Shifter: Bringing Linux containers to HPC Using Shifter For more information about using Shifter, please consult the documentation here. Background NERSC is working to increase flexibility and usability of its HPC systems by enabling Docker-like Linux container technology.  Linux containers allow an application to be packaged with its entire software stack - including some portions of the base OS files - as well defining needed user environment variables and application "entry point.". Read More »

TOKIO: Total Knowledge of I/O

The Total Knowledge of I/O (TOKIO) project is developing algorithms and a software framework to analyze I/O performance and workload data from production HPC resources at multiple system levels. This holistic I/O characterization framework provides a clearer view of system behavior and the causes of deleterious behavior to application scientists, facility operators and computer science researchers in the field. TOKIO is a collaboration between the Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National… Read More »

NERSC Summer Internships

NERSC hosts a number of internships every summer. Applicants must be students, actively enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs. These are paid internships, but we are unable to provide additional support for travel or housing. Desired technical qualifications are specified with each project description. 2019 Projects Enhancing Jupyter Capabilities at NERSC Applications for this project are closed. CS domain: Data Analysis/ System SoftwareProject description: Scientists love Jupyter… Read More »