U.S. Department of Energy advances nuclear stockpile research and simulations with 4X more powerful supercomputer built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise



  • HPE was awarded a $105M contract to build a new system with quadrupled performance to support National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) missions

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s new system features the HPE Cray EX supercomputer using future Intel Xeon processors to simulate nuclear weapons and maintain safety of stockpile

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced it is building a new supercomputer with quadrupled performance1 for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The new system will support critical modeling and simulation of nuclear weapons at high 3D resolutions to ensure reliability and security of the nuclear stockpile.

The NNSA’s new system, which it has named “Crossroads,” will replace the existing Cray-based system, Trinity, to advance current and planned future research. The new system will be delivered in the spring of 2022 and hosted at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It will be used by the three NNSA national laboratories: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories during 2022 - 2026.

The Crossroads system, which is a $105M deal with HPE, will be powered by the HPE Cray EX supercomputer, a high-performance computing (HPC) architecture that is purpose-built for next-generation supercomputing and ideally suited for large-scale systems requiring the greatest performance, density, and efficiency. It will also feature future Intel Xeon processors code-named “Sapphire Rapids” for powerful next-generation compute and AI-accelerated capabilities that target and optimize emerging applications needed for advancing NNSA research, including 3D modeling at higher resolutions.

“HPE has a long history in designing a number of HPC systems for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and today’s announcement further builds on our commitment to deliver powerful and diverse architectures required for critical research missions in maintaining the reliability and security of the nation’s nuclear stockpile,” said Bill Mannel, vice president and general manager, HPC, at HPE. “In this collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, we are significantly advancing existing resources for NNSA research with the HPE Cray EX supercomputer, which combines the Cray Shasta architecture and industry-leading HPC software and networking interconnect. We are also quadrupling performance with combined technologies featuring advanced compute, I/O, memory, networking and software to enable faster and more efficient performance for current and future projects.”

Continuing Historical Success of Supercomputing for the National Nuclear Security Administration

HPE, along with Cray, has worked closely with the DOE’s national laboratories for decades to provide advanced and diverse HPC solutions that support the NNSA in ensuring the nation’s nuclear stockpile is safe, secure and effective.

In addition to the Crossroads system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, HPE is the provider of choice for additional systems to support other DOE missions, including the upcoming exascale systems, Aurora at Argonne National Laboratory, Frontier at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and El Capitan at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“This machine will advance our ability to study the most complex physical systems for science and national security. We look forward to its arrival and deployment,” said Jason Pruet, Program Director for the Advanced Simulating and Computing Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 “Sandia is pleased to be part of the ACES team, and we anticipate that the Crossroads supercomputer will be highly efficient at running the largest physics and engineering calculations in support our Nation’s nuclear deterrent,” said S. Scott Collis, Director, Center for Computing Research at Sandia National Laboratories.

Empowering Innovation with Next-Generation HPC Technologies

The HPE Cray EX supercomputer, which will power Crossroads, will feature the following next-generation HPC solutions for faster performance, greater efficiency, and overall workload optimization:

  • Powerful, AI-accelerated compute from Intel using future Intel Xeon processors code-named “Sapphire Rapids” with next-generation Intel Deep Learning Boost (with Advanced Matrix Extensions) and an advanced memory architecture

  • Sophisticated liquid-cooling capabilities for larger scale systems from HPE to increase overall efficiency in electricity and water usage used to operate the system

  • Fully integrated suite of software designed for HPC using the HPE Cray Programming Environment to improve programmer productivity, application scalability, and performance

  • HPE Slingshot for purpose-built HPC networking to address demands for higher speed and congestion control for data-intensive workloads

To learn more about the Crossroads system and planned projects it will support, please visit: https://www.lanl.gov/projects/crossroads/

About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the global edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reimagining the future and innovating to advance the way we live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions, with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. For more information, visit: www.hpe.com.

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1 4X performance increase calculated by the U.S. Department of Energy