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Programming the Soon-to-Be World's Fastest Supercomputer


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University of Delaware Assistant Professor Sunita Chandrasekaran

"Large-scale simulations that couldn't be imagined just a few years ago are now going to become possible with . . . Frontier," says app design team leader Sunita Chandrasekaran with the University of Delaware.

Credit: University of Delaware

The University of Delaware's Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an international team that is designing an app for the world's fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021.

Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, has for the past year been leading one of eight teams working on applications for the Frontier supercomputer being built within the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This exascale computer, capable of performing a mind-boggling quintillion calculations per second, will be at least five times faster than ORNL's current supercomputer, Summit.

Chandrasekaran's team is working with a plasma physics application called PIConGPU (Particle in Cell). Enlisting Frontier's massive computing power, the team is working to generate fast, predictive simulations for next-generation plasma (particle) accelerators. Such tools are critical to advancing radiation therapies, as well as expanding the use of X-rays to probe the structure of materials.

"Dr. Chandrasekaran's PIConGPU team is an elite group spanning many geographic regions, scientific domains and backgrounds," says Nicolas Malaya, technical lead from Advanced Micro Devices for the Exascale Centers of Excellence. "I fully expect this application to generate important scientific results from this team in computational science, supercomputing, and plasma physics."

Chandrasekaran discusses the team's work in an interview.

From University of Delaware
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