Early Science Program

As part of the process of bringing a new supercomputer into production, the ALCF hosts Early Science Programs (ESP) to ensure its next-generation systems are ready to hit the ground running. The intent of the ESP is to use the critical pre-production time period to prepare key applications for the architecture and scale of a new supercomputer, and to solidify libraries and infrastructure to pave the way for other production applications to run on the system. In addition to fostering application readiness, the ESP allows researchers to pursue innovative computational science projects not possible on today’s leadership-class supercomputers.

The ALCF’s upcoming ESP will have two phases and two separate calls for proposals. The first phase will be for Theta, an early production system based on Intel’s second-generation Xeon Phi processor. Slated for delivery in late 2016, Theta will serve as a bridge between the ALCF’s current system, Mira, and the next leadership-class supercomputer, Aurora, which is scheduled for delivery in 2018. The Theta ESP call for proposals was open from April 22 - May 22, 2015. The call is now closed and proposal evaluation has begun.

The second phase of the ESP will be for Aurora, a fully integrated system featuring multiple Intel HPC technologies, including third-generation Xeon Phi processors, second-generation Omni-Path, a powerful memory architecture and advanced file system storage and software. The call for proposals for the Aurora ESP will be announced in 2016.

The upcoming ESP will be based on the ALCF's highly successful Mira ESP.