2017 Frank Harary Lecture: Sierra: The LLNL IBM CORAL System


Bronis R. de Supinski
Chief Technology Officer
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

October 6, 2017, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Science Hall 107





Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has a long history of leadership in large-scale computing. Our next platform, Sierra, a heterogeneous system that will be sited as part of a Collaboration between Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (CORAL) and delivered through a partnership with IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox, will continue that tradition. That partnership has reached a key milestone that will soon begin the siting of Sierra as well as the Summit System at ORNL. This talk will provide a detailed look at the design of Sierra that can now be made public with the completion of that milestone. It will compare and contrast Sierra to Summit, explaining the motivation for the design choices of each system. It will also preview some early uses of Sierra that target its technical opportunities and the challenges that accompany them.


Bronis R. de Supinski is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Livermore Computing (LC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Bronis earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia in 1998. His research has covered a wide range of topics, including applications of data mining techniques to performance analysis and modeling, including performance modeling through non-linear regression techniques (i.e., artificial neural networks and piecewise polynomial regression), investigations into mechanisms and tools to improve memory performance, a variety of optimization techniques and tools for MPI, and several issues with OpenMP, including its memory model and tool support. Throughout his career, Bronis has won several awards, including the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize in 2005 and 2006, as well as an R&D 100 for his leadership of a team that developed a novel scalable debugging tool. He serves on the program committees of numerous conferences and workshops. He is a member of the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society, and serves as the Chair of the OpenMP Language Committee.

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