AMD signs $12.6 million contract with the U.S. Department of Energy


AMD has signed a $12.6 million contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its Extreme-Scale Computing Research and Development Program called FastForward.

The DOE award provides up to $9.6 million to AMD for processor-related research and up to $3 million for memory-related research.

AMD’s AMD Opteron processor has powered supercomputers over the past decade and the company invented the Accelerated Processing Unit (APU).

FastForward is a jointly funded collaboration between DOE Office of Science, and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to initiate partnerships with multiple companies to accelerate the research and development of critical technologies needed for extreme scale computing.

Exascale supercomputers will be capable of performing one quintillion calculations per second. Exascale supercomputers are designed to break through the current limitations of today’s supercomputers by reducing the length of run time required to perform calculations and improving the capability to perform detailed analyses of complex systems.

Medical science, astrophysics, climate modeling, and national security all have applications with extreme computing requirements.

“To prepare for the next phase of extreme scale computing, NNSA and DOE Office of Science are taking a proactive step in jointly making strategic investments in key areas such as processor, file storage and memory technologies with AMD and others,” said Thuc Hoang of DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

“This award from the DOE will fund critical research and development required to enable high-performance, power-efficient exascale systems. Additionally, AMD will undertake work to drive advances in memory bandwidth and communication speed, which are essential for heterogeneous architecture, exascale-class supercomputers with thousands of processors,” said Alan Lee, AMD’s corporate vice president for Advanced Research and Development.

“Extreme scale technology will create a whole new class of high performance computing systems that can achieve 1,000 times the performance of today’s petascale computers while limiting growth in space and power requirements. The development of high performance, energy-efficient processor and memory technologies are critical to achieving the Department’s goals and AMD is initiating innovative designs for these components,” said William J. Harrod, Division Director of Research, in the DOE Office of Science, ASCR.

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