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Blue Waters Webinars

Beyond Exascale: The Future of HPC
Photograph of Marc Snir
Marc Snir

Faiman Professor
Department of Computer Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Snir's Bio

Marc Snir is Michael Faiman Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently pursues research in parallel computing. He was Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at the Argonne National Laboratory from 2011 to 2016 and head of the Computer Science Department at Illinois from 2001 to 2007. Until 2001 he was a senior manager at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center where he led the Scalable Parallel Systems research group that was responsible for major contributions to the IBM SP scalable parallel system and to the IBM Blue Gene system.

Marc is AAAS Fellow, ACM Fellow and IEEE Fellow. He has Erdos number 2 and is a mathematical descendant of Jacques Salomon Hadamard. He recently won the IEEE Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing and the IEEE Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award.


HPC platforms have evolved in the last 25 years in a predictable manner: They have been designed by assembling commodity compute engines into large clusters. Performance improvements have resulted from the continued improvement in the cost/performance of compute engines and the increasing cost of leading supercomputers. The end of Moores law also means an end to this period or smooth evolution. “Conventional HPC” is likely to plateau in performance and slowly improve in cost/performance. Significant performance advances will require larger budgets and more specialized hardware and software.

My talk will discuss the technical and socio-political aspects drivers of this likely evolution.

Session details

When: 10:00 CST, July 11, 2018

Length of Session: One hour

Target Audience: Those interested in the future of HPC.

Prerequisites: None.

Additional resources: None.