Funding agency: 
National Science Foundation

NSF invites proposals for the acquisition and deployment of a High Performance Computing (HPC) systemcalled the Phase 1 system, with the option of a possible future upgrade to a leadership-class computing facility. The Phase 1 system will serve two important and complementary purposes:  

  1. It will serve as a robust, well-balanced, and forward-looking computational asset for a broad range of research topics for which advances in fundamental understanding require the most extreme computational and data analysis capabilities; and
  2. It will serve as an evaluation platform for testing and demonstrating the feasibility of an upgrade to a leadership-class facility five years following deployment.

A competitive proposal in response to this solicitation will have the following five characteristics:

  1. A detailed acquisition plan for deploying a reliable and well-balanced HPC system with at least two- to three-fold time-to-solution performance improvement over the current state of the art, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (UIUC) Blue Waters system, for a broad range of existing and emerging computational and data intensive applications;
  2. A thorough operations plan for the Phase 1 system to ensure that it will serve as an effective computational tool for the broad scientific and engineering community, and for the Nation at large;
  3. A detailed three- to five-year project plan for scientific and technical evaluation of the Phase 1 system that will lead to an upgrade design of a leadership-class system, called the Phase 2 system, as well as the physical facility that will host it: the Phase 2 system is expected to have a ten-fold or more time-to-solution performance improvement over the Phase 1 system;
  4. Clear and compelling science and engineering use cases, as well as detailed strategic project goals for a leadership-class computing facility; and
  5. A persuasive articulation of educational and industry outreach, and the achievement of other broader societal impact goals, in the long-term strategic plan for the leadership-class computing facility.

Note that the award of a Phase 1 system does not imply any commitment beyond support for beginning the initial planning process for a leadership-class computing facility. The facility planning process may be terminated at any time if satisfactory progress is not demonstrated through annual reviews.

November 20, 2017
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