Investigating Stockpile Stewardship Applications for World’s Largest Computer Chip

Newswise – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Sandia National Laboratories and its partners at two other national laboratories have announced a project to study the application of Cerebras Systems’ wafer-scale engine technology. The immediate goal is to accelerate advanced simulation and computing applications in support of the nation’s inventory management mission.

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Advanced Simulation and Computing program is sponsoring the work, and the national labs of Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos will be collaborating with Cerebras Systems on the project.

“The ultimate goal of NNSA’s Advanced Memory Technology research and development program is to develop technologies for use in future computer system procurements,” said ASC Program Director Thuc Hoang. “We are funding research into technologies that have the potential to deliver 40x the application performance of our future NNSA exascale systems.”

The Cerebras wafer-scale engine, currently the largest computer chip in the world, is purpose-built to work with artificial intelligence and machine learning, said Andrew Feldman, founder and CEO of Cerebras Systems. “The engine contains 2.6 trillion transistors, 850,000 artificial intelligence cores, and powers the Cerebras CS-2, the industry’s fastest artificial intelligence computer,” he said.

Simon Hammond, Federal Program Manager for the ASC’s Computational Systems and Software Environments program, said, “This collaboration with Cerebras Systems has great potential to impact future mission applications by enabling artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques that a emerging component of our production simulation is workload.”

The new contract is part of NNSA’s Post-Exascale Computing Initiative investment portfolio, which aims to maintain the technological R&D momentum and strong industry engagement that launched the initiative through its PathForward program. It aims to foster a more resilient domestic high-performance computing ecosystem by increasing US industry competitiveness in next-generation high-performance computing technologies.

“We anticipate that the technologies developed under the program will be tested on the advanced architecture prototype systems of the Advanced Simulation and Computing program and will eventually impact the production of advanced and standard technology platforms used by the three labs” said Robert Hoekstra, senior manager of the extreme-scale computing group at Sandia.

Feldman said his company is proud to have been selected for the work.

“Cerebras looks forward to collaborating with the pioneering researchers and scientists from Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories,” he said. “Cerebras exists to enable researchers and scientists to push the boundaries of current knowledge, help them solve problems that cannot be solved with existing computing infrastructure, and significantly accelerate cutting-edge simulation workloads. Our multi-year partnership with the Advanced Simulation and Computing program will push the boundaries of applying artificial intelligence and high-performance computing to physics beyond a number of important applications.”

James H. Laros III, Sandia Project Manager and Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, said he looks forward to working with them. “The technology has great potential to influence the way we fulfill our mission in the future.”

Sandia National Laboratories is a multipurpose laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has significant research and development responsibilities in the areas of nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with principal facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Livermore, California.