Keren Bergman, Columbia University, United States
John Shalf, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States
Through invited talks and moderated discussions, this Incubator will bring supercomputer vendors together with researchers to develop a common understanding of the current state of the technology and what challenges must be resolved to accelerate the widespread deployment of optics in computing.
Modern supercomputers are built using thousands to millions of CPU/GPU cores interconnected using a high-performance network. With the extraordinary growth in parallelism, performance is increasingly determined by how data is communicated among the numerous compute resources, rather than the arithmetic operations performed. At Exascale, these challenges are daunting, as energy consumption is increasingly dominated by the cost of data movement, and is an increasing constraint on usable performance by scientific applications. Integrated photonics offers compelling technology solutions toward addressing these challenges and delivering truly scalable energy efficient ultra-high bandwidth data movement for Exascale and beyond. While moving optical technologies closer to the CPU/GPU chip promises to lower power demands, there are significant technical challenges that must be resolved before vendors can adopt these optical technologies.