Impacting Vendor Roadmaps.
Ultimately, the IAA will succeed only by helping industry to incorporate technologies that are relevant to DOE applications into their roadmaps. Many vendors realize that HPC represents the vanguard of high-end applications, and that national laboratories have the science and engineering capabilities to cultivate the needs of those applications. But without the coordination to link industry efforts in HPC architectures with national laboratory efforts in HPC applications and algorithms a gap will remain. Consequently, carefully targeted NRE investments can significantly impact future HPC systems. The establishment of the IAA provides a vehicle for continuous interaction with HPC vendors.
Fostering Industry Collaboration.
Vendors typically operate on 2-3 year design cycles, while academics are generally not reuiqred to implement their proposed architectures to demonstrate success. The IAA has the unique ability to operate on longer time-scales while simultaneously producing real implementations that demonstrate an engineering concept. Consequently, the IAA will foster collaborations among industry, academia, and the national labs to address the shortfalls in HPC architecture research.
Developing Prototype Systems.
Fundamentally, the only way to lower the risk of adopting novel architectures and technologies is to demonstrate through paper studies, system simulation, and hardware prototypes the performance benefit of these technologies. A final step in the IAA's multidisciplinary approach to computer architecture research will be deploying small prototype systems. These systems will facilitate application, algorithm and system software development, prove the technology to industry, and lower the risk of DOE adoption of advanced architectures.
Creating and Deploying Software and Tools to the HPC community.
Frequently, members of the HPC community need precise details for application workloads, architectural features, system software, performance and simulation models, and usage scenarios in order to assess design tradeoffs. Unfortunately, there are few widely accepted standards or tools for distributing this type of information. Therefore, to facilitate collaboration and interaction with HPC industry and academia, the IAA will create and deploy application requirements, benchmarks, software, performance prediction tools, and simulators.