Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



August 4, 2015

Fred Streitz, right, director of the High Performance Computing Innovation Center, participated in one of the forum's panels, “Software — Partnerships Key to an Innovative Ecology.” Photos by Julie Russell/LLNL

Fred Streitz, right, director of the High Performance Computing Innovation Center, participated in one of the forum's panels, “Software — Partnerships Key to an Innovative Ecology.”

Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

Software development is rapidly transforming computing technology to the benefit of society, but the scarcity of "computing talent in the pipeline" impacts the pace of progress, a panel of computing experts concluded Thursday at Casa Real in Pleasanton.

The lunchtime discussion, under the title "Software — Partnerships Key to an Innovative Ecology," was part of the 7th Annual Innovation Forum, sponsored by the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group. Moderating the event was Peter Burrows of Bloomberg News.

Panelists included Jackie Chen of Sandia National Laboratory, Rob Neely of Lawrence Livermore, Rob Sadow of the Pleasanton-based startup Scoop, and Fred Streitz, director of Lawrence Livermore's High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC).

Neely, a deputy division leader in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing, talked about the critical need for new high performance computing (HPC) applications to deliver on the Lab's national security missions, notably stewardship of the nation's nuclear weapons.

Lawrence Livermore's Fred Streitz, right, discussed high performance computing with Jake Solis, vice president and co founder of 1 1 Technology.

Lawrence Livermore's Fred Streitz, right, discussed high performance computing with Jake Solis, vice president and co founder of 1+1 Technology.

The lab works closely with vendors to develop HPC systems, and extensive research in computational math is required to develop the applications that run on the machines, Neely said. "There are big changes coming to high performance computing and the software that drives these machines."

Streitz said that over the last two decades Lawrence Livermore has had a history of deploying what have often been the world's largest supercomputers to fulfill the Lab's national security mission, "and we anticipate that will continue for the foreseeable future."

"We've done some amazing things with computers of that capability," Streitz said, noting that the development of these HPC systems and their applications represents a "very rich" capability built on expertise from disciplines across the Laboratory.

"The purpose of the HPCIC is to expose that capability and those resources to Tri-Valley industry, California industry and to US companies in general to allow them to take advantage of these capabilities and see the innovation that results from cutting-edge computing."

The Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group focuses energy on expanding local economic development and bolstering the region's role as a vital node in the Bay Area innovation system. Attracting talent to the region is a hot topic and the object of a collaborative effort by the leadership group, including strategic partners SNL and LLNL.