×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

DOE Awards 265 Million Processor-Hours To Science Projects

Zonk posted more than 5 years ago | from the yay-i-get-to-compute dept.

Supercomputing 59

Weather Storm writes "DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program supports computationally intensive, large-scale research projects at a governmental level. They recently awarded 265 million processor-hours to 55 scientific projects, the largest amount of supercomputing resource awards donated in the DOE's history and three times that of last year's award. The winners were chosen based on their potential breakthroughs in the areas of science and engineering research, and the suitability of the project for using supercomputers. This year's INCITE applications ranged from developing nanomaterials to advancing the nation's basic understanding of physics and chemistry, and from designing quieter cars to improving commercial aircraft design. The next round of the INCITE competition will be announced this summer. Expansion of the DOE Office of Science's computational capabilities should approximately quadruple the 2009 INCITE award allocations to close to a billion processor hours."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

59 comments

its scary to think (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124084)

there are botnets out there that are offering the same thing on the black market

Re:its scary to think (1, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124744)

Can you provide a source? The people who estimate how large botnets are make money by scaring people (e.g. Symantec). The computing power would also clearly be very distributed, and it's hard to think of a criminal use for it.

Re:its scary to think (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125048)

Can you provide a source?
Same source as the article.
Doe. John Doe to be precise.

Re:its scary to think (2, Informative)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125462)

Any sort of password/crypto cracking - using a brute-force search of the entire keyspace - parallelises very easily. See distributed.net for example.

Re:its scary to think (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22126102)

i once witnessed someone control a swarm of 40,000 pcs using a vb app. its hard to believe until you see them all connect to an ircd server

Re:its scary to think (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125904)

Botnets may have the same number of CPU's, but they don't have anywhere near the bandwidth or latency between them.

All models come to one conclusion (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124088)

The earth is 6000 years old. A computer said it, it's science.

Well... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124164)

MY computer told me it could enlarge my pen15, but I think that was more Science Fiction than Hard Science (that joke was soo bad, I HAVE to post AC)

Re:Well... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124324)

(that joke was soo bad, I HAVE to post AC)
You made the right decision.

Re:All models come to one conclusion (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22130286)

My computer thinks time began in 1970.

Re:All models come to one conclusion (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133396)

How do you know it didn't begin in 1970?

Any memories you may have originating prior to 1970 could have been planted into your brain at the start (in 1970).

265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (2, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124108)

Does anyone know what processors the DoD is using? 265 Million Processor-Hours is a pointless metric on its own, there's a big difference between those hours on a 486 and an Itanium 2 or a modern Xeon. They should have used something like FLOPS to measure the processor power being awarded.

Re:265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (4, Informative)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124190)

The supercomputers which were alloted award hours appear to be on:

Blue Gene [wikipedia.org]
Cray XT4 [wikipedia.org]
Cray X1E [wikipedia.org]
and NERSC HPC which doesn't have a convenient Wikepedia link, but comprises AMD Opteron processors.
This is according to this Newswise report. [newswise.com]

Re:265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (1)

wcbarksdale (621327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124208)

And how much is that in abacus-fortnights?

Re:265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124368)

And how much is that in abacus-fortnights?

Enough to process 37,000 Libraries of Congress.

Re:265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124752)

Did you mean 37,000 Libraries of Congress per Electoral Year? Libraries of Congress are units of storage, not processing rate.

Re:265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (2, Funny)

Cus (700562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124886)

Enough to process 37,000 Libraries of Congress.
...or one tax return.

Re:265 Million Processor-Hours On What Processors? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124444)

Does anyone know what processors the DoD is using?

They're Dell desktops.

You'll find one in each of the gatehouses of our DoD establishments around the country. Oh, and BTW, we'd appreciate it if you could work the boom gate while you're using our processors.

Don't let any bad guys in. Kthksby.

Obligatory... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124146)

obNP:
niggers

ron paul 2008

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124248)

Ron Paul is a damn nigger? That explains everything!

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124448)

Dear sir you are quite mistaken.
Ron Paul is the most vehemently anti-nigger candidate currently in play. He hates niggers with a beautiful passion. That man is the most dedicated nigger-hater in the country at his power level. Sure, Hillary Clinton may hate niggers more, but dollar for campaign dollar Ron Paul hates niggers more than anyone.

Vote ron Paul 2008

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Badgam (1219056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124670)

Maybe we should just use those supercomputers to select our next president. Way I figure it, even HAL 9000 would make a better President than pretty much everybody running. Hell, even the Combine Overwatch would do a pretty decent job, so long as you like roasted headcrab and antlion stew for three meals per day.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125626)

That's funny, there was an Asimov story 'Franchise' about just this. I think it's partly a joke, but it has a world in which statistical analysis is so perfect that a computer (Multivac naturally) chooses the perfect 'average' man and that man's one vote is the sample it uses to measure who must get elected. Funny.

Duh (2, Interesting)

Ironpoint (463916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124156)


What else are DOE machines used for other than research? Isn't this like saying "The Department of Transportation awards 100 million highway miles to travelers" or "NASA awards 100 shuttle flights to astronauts"?

Re:Duh (3, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124210)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say,

*** REDACTED FOR THE PURPOSES OF NATIONAL SECURITY ***.

I think that about sums it up.

EXACTLY the reason they gave it out... (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125112)

Anything processed on their machines becomes something they have a stake in, and something they KNOW about, in INTIMATE detail. Nothing runs on my machines with my permission without me knowing something about it. I have a pretty good feeling that the federales are no different. If they're giving out access, you can guarantee that THEY are ALSO getting access to the data that is getting crunched. Wouldn't want any breakthroughs to go to the free market rather than to the strangulated market run by the government, would ya? I mean damn, some inventor might get it into his head to benefit from his own invention. How dare those damn inventors do that? Don't they know that ANY work they do is to benefit mankind, and not themselves?!

So the government found a solution. Donate some of those tax dollars that they take by force each year, in such a way that they will have a stake in any technological breakthroughs that they cannot confiscate and silence outright.

Hey, big surprise. At least they try to keep it reasonably legit. On the soviet side, they would've appropriated your invention ANYWAYS, and given you a wooden plaque and named an institute for you (if your invention was life changing for enough of the masses)... otherwise you'd get a free vacation to the nearest gulag.

Re:EXACTLY the reason they gave it out... (1)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125798)

No one is preventing said researcher or inventor from buying time on a non tax-payer funded machine.

Also, DOE superomputers are used to keep our nuclear warheads safe and perform nuclear testing, as it is impossible to carry out real tests now.

Re:EXACTLY the reason they gave it out... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22136538)

You are an idiot. Maybe you should go look up grid computing, OGF, NGS, etc...

Obviously it is more fun spouting your paranoid shit than actually limiting yourself to talk about stuff that you know something about.

Re:EXACTLY the reason they gave it out... (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22137114)

By all means. I'm paranoid, and you're gullible. What's the difference, in the long run, I wonder?

Re:Duh (1)

Btarlinian (922732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22130336)

What else are DOE machines used for other than research? Isn't this like saying "The Department of Transportation awards 100 million highway miles to travelers" or "NASA awards 100 shuttle flights to astronauts"?

I'm pretty sure that the point is that they have 265 million processor years to hand out, rather than the fact that they were handed out. Until Earth Simulator came online in Japan a several years ago, the state of supercomputing was languishing in the US, (at least for scientific research purposes, for all we know, the NSA has several petaflops of computing capacity.)

Unfortunately, it seems like politicians have gone a bit overboard in devoting resources to supercomputing, since according to this article [slashdot.org], funding for various research labs and organizations, (Fermilab, ITER, etc.) were cut, while supercomputing got MORE money than requested. Hopefully, they'll come to their senses next year.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22130552)

No. They could sell the computer time. The DOE is sucking down over US$20 billion a year, and this could help offset that.

I know the DOE's budget is just a little piddle compared to the wars we're in, and the price of the computer-time they could sell would be a tiny fraction of *that*, but I do kind of like it when my government at least *tries* to save money, when they can.

Independent of what it's being spent on, I really don't like that the government is continuing to go into ever-more-massive debt.

Re:Duh (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 6 years ago | (#22131718)

Dear DOE; please accept my research grant proposal for a project involving energy, and pornography. Results might be available in as little as 30 seconds.

Thank you

Re:Duh (1)

link5280 (1141253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22138998)

Nuclear simulations are one of the main reasons DOE builds supercomputers. Since the U.S. can't test actual nuclear bombs anymore R&D is done on these supercomputers. Looks like they have some spare CPU time to lend out to academia though. https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/news_releases/2007/NR-07-06-09.html [llnl.gov] http://www.wisconsinproject.org/pubs/articles/1990/thirdworldbomb.htm [wisconsinproject.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Alamos_National_Laboratory [wikipedia.org]

but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22124272)

megahours? But how many laptop miles is that?

hum! (2, Funny)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124276)

[...]to advancing the nation's basic understanding of physics and chemistry[...]

all you need for that task is a stone dropping from the second floor on some heads. that's the basics of physics and a hell of fun.

Re:hum! (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22126024)

But if you drop a rock onto a pedestrian and no-one is around to observe it, has an innocent bystander been seriously hurt?

Why CPU Hours? (1)

Reigo Reinmets (1035336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124370)

I don't get it, they are awarding CPU-hours... Lots of them of course but wouldn't the projects be way more happier with X brand new PS3's?
Because it's already a proven fact that PS3 is twice as useful as a research computer rather than a teenager playing equipment.

Thank Goodness None Of The Hours Are Windows OSes (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124468)

They'd spend 1 hour running the test and 264,999,999 hours cleaning out the Viagra spam and the spyware.

Helping the Nation (1)

supertsaar (540181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22124900)

...advancing the nation's basic understanding of physics and chemistry,...
Ow Im afraid no amount of processor time will help.....its hopeless...

Fire is the topic of the year (4, Interesting)

Tom Womack (8005) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125304)

Except for Blue Gene (and that's a big exception, since the 2^17-CPU Blue Gene at LLNL pumps out about a billion processor hours a year on its own, and has had another 80,000 CPUs added recently) these CPUs are either 2.4GHz Opterons or 3GHz Core2s; those were and are the sweet spots for building big HPCs.

The list of projects is at

http://www.science.doe.gov/ascr/incite/2008INCITEFactsheets.pdf [doe.gov]

They seem mostly to be about fire, in power stations, in supernovae or in fission reactors.

Some nice examples: 27Mhours on lattice quantum chromodynamics, 21Mhours to simulating thermonuclear burning in type-1B supernovas, 18Mhours to figuring out how biofuels burn, 17.5Mhours to determine from first quantum principles how the nickel-56 nucleus holds together, 16Mhours to simulating thermonuclear burning in type-2 supernovas, 12Mhours to attempting to design a carbamate hydrolase enzyme de-novo, 10Mhours to simulating lead-telluride / silver-antinomy-telluride thermoelectric materials, 4.5Mhours to optimise the design of the next-generation linear collider, 5M hours to figuring out why enormous temperature gradients persist in liquid-sodium-cooled fast-breeder reactors and a further 14Mhours to liquid-sodium reactor design in general, 4M hours to figuring out exactly how multiple burners in large power-station combustion chambers light one another, 3.5Mhours to trying to understand why it's so hard to hydrolyse cellulose, 3.5Mhours to understanding how flame fronts move in the complicated gas mixtures obtained from coal gasification, half a million hours for oceanic circulation, three quarters of a million hours for flow of dense suspensions, ten million hours on catalyst design.

And, for some reason, a million hours on porting Plan-9 to the Blue Gene system. I presume this allows you to crash and reboot the entire 200kcpu system enough to identify ten bugs. Also eight million CPU-hours to developing better HPC libraries.

I would be interested to know the amount of idle time there is on these supercomputers; a friend of mine from mersenneforum.org got a week on several hundred Opterons in France over Christmas, which was enough to do most of the work required to factorise a few numbers of fairly unreasonable size - sadly, there's a second step in the factorisation which requires an SMP machine, and the biggest SMP machine I have is an Intel Q6600, so completing the factorisation is taking three weeks on a single desktop in my back bedroom.

Re:Fire is the topic of the year (1)

westyx (95706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22135336)

Reading the document, it sounds like they are thinking of moving to plan-9 as the OS on the machines.

Who? Where? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22125456)

Look, I don't know who the DOE are. I don't even know what country they're in. This is an international site -- is it too much to expect some basic information?

HAL.

Re:Who? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22126830)

While I agree with you in general, it's not that difficult to do a quick acronymfinder search and find out yourself.

I'd think this is basic stuff, at least on /..

Honestly (2, Insightful)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22127016)

Define your acronyms the first time you use them. This summary got it half right. If the submitter fails to do this, please pick up the slack editors. If you don't know what to put, that should be a red flag not to post it.

IF the DOE can just donate... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22131054)

265 million hours of computing time, how much do they really have?

Assuming they've donated this time to be used during one year, that means they've got around 30,000 processors idle.

Which makes me wonder how much computing power the NSA has. I had always assumed that it would be less than the number of people on the planet, but now I'm not so sure...

Re:IF the DOE can just donate... (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22131274)

They're not really donating it. They are "awarding" hours of processor time on supercomputers that were paid for with taxpayer money. Energy research is the mandate of the DOE. The concept is:

1. DOE buys/builds supercomputers.
2. Scientists write proposals about running programs on supercomputers.
3. DOE chooses proposals that look cool / are scientifically interesting / don't suck
4. DOE divvies up the time pie
5. Scientists run their code and figure stuff out, write papers

Time = money, especially when supercomputers are involved.

H. Ross Perot was right (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22132144)

"DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program supports computationally intensive, large-scale research projects at a governmental level.
A business would not be successful by asserting, in its name, that it is "Innovative and Novel." A business [absent government subsidy or anti-newcomer regulations] would have to call itself "CITE," and do so according to scientific standards, to sell what it offers based on the judgement of its Customers that its work is indeed "innovative and novel."

Mod me down all you want. This matters more to me than the topic, or your funny "Mod points."
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...