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New Funding to Support Leadership-Class Application Partners

Published on January 28, 2021 by Aaron Dubrow



Planning is underway for the National Science Foundation's Leadership Class Computing Facility (LCCF) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, based at The University of Texas at Austin. When commissioned in 2025, the LCCF will deliver a ten-fold or more time-to-solution performance improvement for science users over NSF's Frontera supercomputer, currently the 9th fastest in the world and the most powerful at any university.

Planning is underway for the National Science Foundation's Leadership Class Computing Facility (LCCF) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, based at The University of Texas at Austin. When commissioned in 2025, the LCCF will deliver a ten-fold or more time-to-solution performance improvement for science users over NSF's Frontera supercomputer, currently the 9th fastest in the world and the most powerful at any university.

The LCCF will operate for at least ten years and may be renewed for successive ten-year terms after the initial term. The design of the facility will be informed by the requirements of the science teams that will make use of it. TACC hopes to refine those requirements through the selection of a set of "Characteristic Science Applications" or CSAs – application codes and ‘grand challenge'-class science problems identified by the community of current and emerging large-scale scientific computing users.

This week, NSF issued a Dear Colleague Letter to establish the initial partnerships that will begin the CSA selection process. Partners will receive funding over multiple years to refine their chosen applications to run on the future LCCF architecture.

"NSF believes that broad participation by the research community through these CSAs is an important component of the design process and encourages the community to take advantage of this opportunity to help us ensure that LCCF supports a broad class of future science and engineering applications and workflows," said Manish Parashar, director of NSF's Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.

Because a substantial effort will be required of each team, the LCCF will provide direct funding to partner teams as well as dedicated experts to assist in analyzing the existing code, completing a gap analysis and code changes, and running the challenge problem on the new platform.

Up to 20 teams will be selected to undergo a technical evaluation with the LCCF team to construct a final proposal. 10 to 15 teams will be awarded $120,000 to $150,000 for the first year of study and design, with a commitment from the science team to collaborate with the LCCF project to improve the code and prepare it for the candidate architecture.

Teams making sufficient progress may be renewed for a second year of funding at the same level during final design. Six to 10 teams will enter the construction phase of the LCCF project and be funded for approximately 30 months as the Characteristic Science Applications are demonstrated on the LCCF's HPC resources.

Science teams who today — or may in the near future — require large-scale scientific computing to advance the state of the art in their disciplines are invited to complete an application describing a grand challenge problem to be solved in their discipline, why LCCF resources will be needed, and what methods/codes will be used to solve the problem. The LCCF team will evaluate the potential of partner applications based on: the scientific significance of the problem; whether the problem adds to the representation of scientific codes that the LCCF facility will likely need to serve; and the current ability to solve this problem.

Interested teams should apply at https://lccf.tacc.utexas.edu/. Consideration of applications will begin January 31st, 2021. Applications will be accepted through February 26th, 2021.

"Each team that participates in the process will exit with an improved science application and new computational insights into their code," said Dan Stanzione, TACC's Executive Director. "Teams selected for the entire process will have substantially improved applications that achieved new science results on one of the newest and fastest supercomputers in the world."


Story Highlights

The National Science Foundation issued a Dear Colleague Letter to inform the science and engineering (S&E) community about an opportunity for research teams to become S&E application partners with the Leadership-Class Computing Facility during the planning and construction stages of the project.

Up to 20 teams will be selected to undergo a technical evaluation with the LCCF team to construct a final proposal.

10 to 15 teams will be awarded $120,000 to $150,000 for the first year of study and design, with a commitment from the science team to collaborate with the LCCF project to improve the code and prepare it for the candidate architecture.

Six to 10 teams will enter the construction phase of the LCCF project and be funded for approximately 30 months as the Characteristic Science Applications are demonstrated on the LCCF's HPC resources.


Contact

Faith Singer-Villalobos

Communications Manager
faith@tacc.utexas.edu | 512-232-5771

Aaron Dubrow

Science And Technology Writer
aarondubrow@tacc.utexas.edu

Jorge Salazar

Technical Writer/Editor
jorge@tacc.utexas.edu | 512-475-9411