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.

Application Readiness Across DOE Labs

Running efficiently on future low-power, manycore system architectures will pose a major challenge to almost all scientific application codes. DOE supercomputer centers are working together now to plan and coordinate how they will help enable science teams take advantage of next-generation systems. Over the next couple of years, various DOE labs will be installing a variety of next generation systems which  will both challenge users exploit them efficiently and provide needed testbeds in the… Read More »

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 »


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 »