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Mobilizing collective movement toward exascale

According to an article published on isgtw,Herbert Stein, known as a pragmatic conservative, formulated Herbert Stein's Law, which he expressed as "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." By this, he meant there is no need for a stopping action or a program; in other words, stopping requires little to no effort on our part. Starting, on the other hand, often requires much more effort – a plan, a jumping off point from which no certain future can be seen. In the US, a missing plan definitely points to an uncertain exascale future, but collaborators are joining forces and building momentum.


Significant changes in high-performance computing software and hardware have been on the horizon for nearly a decade. What’s worrisome, says Pete Beckman, is that in that time the HPC community in the US hasn’t been able to start – to definitively mobilize a collective movement toward exascale.

Beckman is director of the Exascale Technology and Computing Institute at Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago, Illinois, US “We’ve known there is huge change coming,” he says. “But as a community looking for support from the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and others, we haven’t been able to come together and formalize a plan.”

Beckman’s early work, including collaboration with several colleagues, led to the International Exascale Software Project (IESP), which created national and international dialogue around solving the exascale problem. “IESP brought us together to talk about exascale and discuss agendas, but given current trajectories we’re well past the point of imagining that all of the technology must come from a single nation. We’ll be much better off solving these problems collaboratively and sharing pieces of the software,” Beckman says.

Read more on isgtw

By Amber Harmon

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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