NSF Awards $10 Million for Supercomputer that Emphasizes Cloud Integration

San Diego’s Expanse supercomputer will extend the power of composable systems

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) of the University of California San Diego $10 million for a new supercomputer “designed to advance research that is increasingly dependent up heterogeneous and distributed resources.”

The new Expanse supercomputer will be capable of operating as a standalone system; however, the most interesting part of the design is the emphasis on “cloud integration and composed systems as well as continued support for science gateways and distributed computing via the Open Science grid.”

According to SDSC Chief Data Science officer Ilkay Altintas, “While Expanse will easily support traditional batch-scheduled HPC applications, breakthrough research is increasingly dependent upon carrying out complex workflows that may include near real-time remote sensor data ingestion and big data analysis, interactive data exploration and visualization as well as large-scale computation. … One of the key innovations in Expanse is its ability to support so-called composable systems at the continuum of computing with dynamic capabilities. Using tools such as Kubernetes, and workflow software we have developed over the years for projects including the NSF-funded WIFIRE and CHASE-CI programs, Expanse will extend the boundaries of what is possible by integration with the broader computational and data ecosystem.”