New task force will examine critical uses of supercomputing

The government is establishing a high-end computing revitalization task force aimed at improving research and development, accessibility and procurement of high-end systems.

William Turnbull, deputy CIO of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the effort will be guided by the National Science and Technology Council. He spoke yesterday at the National High-Performance Computing and Communications Council's conference in Newport, R.I.

The impetus for the task force comes from a paragraph in the Office of Management and Budget's Analytical Perspectives on the fiscal 2004 budget, Turnbull said.

"Due to its impact on a wide range of federal agency missions ranging from national security and defense to basic science, high-end computing'or supercomputing'capability is becoming increasingly critical,' the document stated.

During 2003, Turnbull said, representatives of federal agencies that use high-performance computing will look at three broad categories of issues:

  • Development of an interagency R&D road map for core technologies related to high-end computing

  • A federal high-end computing capacity survey and accessibility improvement plan

  • Issues and recommendations relating to federal procurement of high-end computing systems.

  • Turnbull said he expects the task force's results to guide investments in hardware and research into better software for scientific simulations and other high-end computing efforts.

    The interagency task force will operate 'on a very compressed, tight time schedule' and may finish its work as early as the end of fiscal 2003, Turnbull said.

    For more information on the task force as it develops, visit


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