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LLNL Breaks Ground on New Supercomputing Facility

The building will be able to scale to 7.5 megawatts of computational capacity in the future and was designed so that power and mechanical resources can be added as HPC technologies evolve.

The new building will be able to scale to 7.5 megawatts of computational capacity in the future and was designed so that power and mechanical resources can be added as HPC technologies evolve.

This week Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory broke ground on a modular and sustainable supercomputing facility that will provide a flexible infrastructure able to accommodate the Laboratory’s growing demand for HPC.

The $9.875 million building, located on the Laboratory’s east side, will ensure computer room space to support the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program’s unclassified HPC systems. ASC is the high-performance simulation effort of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) stockpile stewardship program to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent without testing.

Unclassified high performance computing is critical to the stockpile stewardship program’s success and the need for this capability will continue to grow,” said Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein. “Modernizing the Lab’s computing infrastructure will enable us to better exploit next-generation supercomputers for NNSA by tapping the talents of top academic and private sector partners.”

From left, Patricia Falcone, deputy director for Science and Technology, Charles Verdon, principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration, Michel McCoy, director of Weapons Simulation and Computing, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Bill Goldstein, LLNL director, and Dona Crawford, associate director of the Computation Directorate.

From left, Patricia Falcone, deputy director for Science and Technology, Charles Verdon, principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration, Michel McCoy, director of Weapons Simulation and Computing, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Bill Goldstein, LLNL director, and Dona Crawford, associate director of the Computation Directorate.

The new building addresses a pressing need for space designed to accommodate a variety of high performance computing architectures, including water-cooled systems. Computing buildings at Lawrence Livermore range from 10 to 60 years in age and most were not designed to house HPC systems. These aging structures have inherent limitations that make upgrades to their electrical and mechanical infrastructures prohibitively expensive.

The new dual-level unclassified building — to be called Bldg. 654 Livermore Computing Complex — will consist of a 6,000-square-foot machine floor flanked by support space. The main computer structure is flexible in design to allow for expansion and accommodate future computer technology advances. The ceiling height will assure proper forced air circulation and allow for the installation of utilities and HPC systems.

The ASC Program always has believed that forward-thinking programs depend on labs being healthy and able to engage bright minds in solving tough problems,” stated Bob Meisner, NNSA ASC program director. “For this reason, we have encouraged strong unclassified computing environments, which not only build a powerful and broad science and technology (S&T) base vital to the success of stewardship, but also facilitate collaboration with universities like the ASC Alliance Centers, other government agencies and American industry. We also are pleased with the innovative and cost-efficient design, which reiterates the labs’ commitment to sustainable S&T investments.”

Construction of the building is expected to take a year.

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