Scalable Parallelism in the Extreme

Computing systems have undergone a fundamental transformation from the single-core processor-devices of the turn of the century to today's ubiquitous and networked devices with multicore/many-core processors along with warehouse-scale computing via the cloud.

At the same time, semiconductor


technology is facing fundamental physical limits and single-processor performance has plateaued.

This means that the ability to achieve performance improvements through improved processor technologies alone has ended.In recognition of this obstacle, the recent National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) encourages collaborative efforts to develop, “over the next 15 years, a viable path forward for future high-performance computing (HPC) systems even after the limits of current semiconductor technology are reached (the 'post-Moore’s Law era').” Exploiting parallelism is one of the most promising directions to meet these performance demands.

While parallelism has already been studied extensively and is a reality in today’s computing technology, the expected scale of future systems is unprecedented.

At extreme scales, factors that have small impacts today can become highly significant.

For example, even short serial program sections can prove destructive to performance.

Heterogeneity of processing elements [Central Processing Units (CPUs), Graphics-Processing Units (GPUs), and accelerators] and their memory hierarchies pose significant management challenges.

High system complexity may lead to unacceptable latencies and mean time between failures, even if built with highly reliable components.

Furthermore, the interconnectedness of large-scale distributed architectures poses an enormous challenge of understanding and providing guarantees on performance behavior.

These are just four of many issues arising in the new era of parallel computing that is upon us.

The Scalable Parallelism in the Extreme (SPX) program aims to support research addressing the challenges of increasing performance in this modern era of parallel computing.

This will require a collaborative effort among researchers in multiple areas, from services and applications down to micro-architecture.

SPX encompasses all five NSCI Strategic Objectives, including supporting foundational research toward architecture and software approaches that drive performance improvements in the post-Moore’s Law era; development and deployment of programmable, scalable, and reusable platforms in the national HPC and scientific cyberinfrastructure ecosystem; increased coherence of data analytic computing and modeling and simulation; and capable extreme-scale computing.

Coordination with industrial efforts that pursue related goals are encouraged.
Related Programs

Computer and Information Science and Engineering

National Science Foundation

Agency: National Science Foundation

Office: National Science Foundation

Estimated Funding: $10,000,000

Who's Eligible

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

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NSF Publication 19-505

Additional Information of Eligibility:
*Who May Submit Proposals: Proposals may only be submitted by the following: -Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U. S. associated with educational or research activities.

-Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.

*Who May Serve as PI: <ul> <li>As of the submission deadline, PIs, co-PIs, or other senior project personnel must hold primary, full-time, paid appointments in research or teaching positions at US-based campuses/offices of organizations eligible to submit to this solicitation (see above), with exceptions granted for family or medical leave, as determined by the submitting institution.

Individuals with primary appointments at for-profit, non-academic organizations, or overseas branch campuses of US IHEs are not eligible, even if they also have an appointment at a US campus.</li> <li>Each proposal is required to have two or more PIs providing different and distinct expertise relevant to the program's focus areas.</li> </ul>

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