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Sandia leading exascale push

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A team led by Sandia National Laboratories is designing an operating system to handle the million trillion mathematical operations per second of future exascale computers, and then create prototypes of several programming components.

The XPRESS project (eXascale Programming Environment and System Software), an initiative to achieve a major milestone in million-trillion-operations-per-second supercomputing, is funded to the tune of $2.3 million a year for three years by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The team includes Indiana University and Louisiana University; the universities of North Carolina, Oregon and Houston; and Oak Ridge and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories. Work began September 2012.

'The project’s goal is to devise an innovative operating system and associated components that will enable exascale computing by 2020, making contributions along the way to improve current petaflop (a million billion operations a second) systems,' said Sandia program lead Ron Brightwell.

Scientists believe that exascale computing speeds will more accurately simulate the most complex reactions in such fields as nuclear weapons, atmospheric science and chemistry and biology.