Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been picked to lead two Department of Energy projects to develop applications for future exascale computer systems that will be 50 to 100 times more powerful than today’s fastest supercomputers.
Exascale systems will perform at least a billion calculations per second.
PNNL will lead one project related to a computational chemistry code, NWChemEx.
Initially, NWChemEx will develop high-performance computational models for the production of advanced biofuels and other bioproducts, helping address energy and climate issues.
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PNNL also will lead a project intended to create the seeds of new areas of computational science related to modeling of the power grid.
The project will address the massive calculations grid planners will need to deal with uncertain renewable power sources, electric vehicles and smart loads that will introduce random changes. Juggling new variables — on the order of 100 quintillion — can only be solved with exascale computers capable of handling those calculations quickly.