Date: Monday, May 22, 2017
Location: CAB G 61, ETH Zurich
The insatiable need of applications for more performance, as well as the desire for national prestige, is pushing several countries into ambitious exascale computing program. Exascale systems are likely to be deployed at the same time as when Moores Law is coming to an end. Two of the goals of the US exascale initiatives are: (1) Accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system that integrates hardware and software capability to deliver approximately 100 times the performance of current 10 petaflop systems across a range of applications representing government needs. (2) Establishing, over the next 15 years, a viable path forward for future HPC systems even after the limits of current semiconductor technology are reached (the Post- Moores Law Era). While there is reasonable confidence that the first goal can be achieved, it is much less clear that the second one is viable. As feature shrinking stops providing significant performance improvements, gains will have to come from new packaging, new architectures, and different software. Many of the gains will be one-off and specific to HPC, rather than resulting from the evolution of commodity technology. This will require significant changes in the HPC ecosystem. The talk will discuss these implications of the end of Moores Law on the future of HPC.