John Shalf has been appointed chief technology officer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Shalf will also continue to serve in his current role as head of the Computer and Data Sciences Department in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division.
NERSC is the primary high performance computing (HPC) facility for scientific research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science. Shalf will help NERSC develop a plan to achieve exascale performance – 1 quintillion or 1018 computer operations per second – a thousand-fold increase over current petascale systems.
Exascale is expected to require computers containing 10 million to 100 million processing elements or cores, as well as new programming techniques and software. Shalf will also help coordinate exascale research activities with future NERSC procurements.
'NERSC is responsible for moving hundreds of science codes that serve the diverse needs of the Office of Science to next generation architectures,' said NERSC director, Sudip Dosanjh.
He continued: 'Because of the breadth of our applications, we cannot build application-specific architectures – rather, we must broadly support DOE’s mission. This poses special challenges for data movement (memory and interconnect being examples). Our goal is to ensure that scientific progress is uninterrupted on the road to exascale. John’s demonstrated intellectual leadership in advanced architecture development will help NERSC choose the most productive path forward.'