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Pawsey PCon23: Preparing applications for El Capitan and beyond

22 September 2023
10:30am - 11:30pm

As a part of 2023’s PaCER Conference…

Join Erik W. Draeger and Jane Herriman as they delve into the world of LLNL’s next supercomputer El Capitan.

As LLNL prepares to stand up its next supercomputer, El Capitan, application teams prepare to pivot to another GPU architecture. After decades of relative architectural stability, developers now find themselves facing a rapidly-changing hardware landscape.

LLNL’s previous leadership class machine, Sierra, motivated individuals running established, highly-validated simulation codes to adopt new portability abstractions and modular software infrastructure to maintain mission and science capabilities. Excellent performance was ultimately achieved on the NVIDIA GPUs, but El Capitan will provide the first true test of these codes’ portability.

In this talk, we describe lessons learned by LLNL application teams in making the transition away from distributed-memory, CPU-only architectures as well as some of the institutional best practices that have been put in place. New open-source software products will be described and promoted not only as tools for porting and profiling applications, but as avenues for collaboration across the computational science community.

About the speakers:

 Jane Herriman works at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), where she supports High Performance Computing (HPC) users through various consulting, teaching, and documentation efforts. She contributes to LLNL’s HPC Innovation Center and leads Livermore Computing’s visualization team. Prior to these roles, Jane worked at Julia Computing, where she led teaching and outreach initiatives for the Julia programming language. Jane went to Carnegie Mellon University for her B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in French and Francophone Studies and received her Ph.D. in Materials Science from the California Institute of Technology.



Erik W. Draeger is the Director of the High Performance Computing Innovation Center and RADIUSS project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as well as the Scientific Computing group leader at the Center for Applied Scientific Computing. He is also the Deputy Director of Application Development for the Exascale Computing Project, jointly overseeing a portfolio of 22 Office of Science applications, 4 NNSA applications, and 7 co-design projects. Erik earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995 and received a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2001. He has been a finalist for the Gordon Bell Prize six times since 2005 and won the prize in 2006.)


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