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PNNL: High Performance Computing

Hybrid Computing Technologies

Hybrid Architectures

Computer architectures for HPC are shifting away from standard, cache-based, general-purpose microprocessors, which have dominated the field for the last 10-15 years.   One of the reasons for this trend is the diminishing increase in performance obtained from traditional scaling due to Moore's Law.   Vendors are pursuing two strategies to address this issue: increasing the levels of parallelism provided by a single chip by adding replicated processor cores on the same die; and complementing general-purpose microprocessors with specialized processing elements such as reconfigurable computing fabrics (i.e., Field Programmable Gate Arrays [FPGAs]), on-chip parallel processing elements designed for compute-intensive applications with private, software-controlled local memories (IBM's Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs) in the Cell Processor), special-purpose processors being used for more general processing tasks (i.e., Graphics Processing Units [GPUs] used for arithmetic computations), as well as other architectures.

Abstract Hybrid Architecture

Abstract Hybrid Architecture diagram

FPGA-based Acceleration

Current Focus Areas

  • Proteomics data analysis
  • Power grid analysis


FPGA-Accelerated Ssytems at PNNL

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