Newswise — Los Alamos National Laboratory and Arm are teaming up to make efficient, workload-optimized processors tailored to the extreme-scale computing requirements of the Laboratory’s national-security mission. The collaboration addresses the challenges of connecting more and more processors as high performance computers become larger and more powerful.

“We are designing supercomputer systems today that will be deployed in the coming decade, and efficient processors and computer systems tailored to the Laboratory’s specific workloads are critical to maintaining our national leadership in HPC,” said Stephen Poole, chief HPC architect at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “With these new technologies, we will be able to expand and refine our research capabilities to enhance discoveries and increase our overall efficiencies in our mission applications.”

High performance computers play a pivotal role in Los Alamos’ mission of maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile and understanding complicated physics through extreme-scale simulations that can take months to complete on today’s fastest computers. Along with Los Alamos, leaders in other industries, such as energy and film, will benefit from more efficient computers. The petroleum industry utilizes supercomputers to simulate and analyze underground petroleum reservoirs and geological substrates to guide investments of hundreds of millions of dollars in developing and processing oil fields.  The film industry relies heavily on HPC systems to create and render detailed animations in blockbuster movies.  

Arm’s highly flexible processor architectures are well-suited for tailored design applications and potential customization for the Laboratory’s extreme scale computing needs. Los Alamos’ applications will receive direct benefits from Arm’s work to build out the software and hardware ecosystems collaboration. With Los Alamos, the collaboration will focus on future proposed enhancements to the overall processor architecture to meet the demands for information discovery at scale for the lab’s next generation applications.

The collaborative development will be done under the Efficient Mission Centric Computing Consortium (EMC3), centered at the LANL’s Ultra-Scale Systems Research Center (USRC). The EMC3 consortium mission is to investigate efficient ultra-scale computing and networking architectures, applications and environments, to provide the most efficient computing architectures needed for US Industry and national security. 

“This close collaboration with EMC3, is expected to start bearing performance results in near term systems as well some of our future systems in design,” said Gary Grider, division leader for HPC at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

“The collaboration between Arm and Los Alamos represents a significant milestone in enabling next generation ultra-large scale HPC,” said Eric Van Hensbergen, Arm Research Fellow.   “High-end ultra-scale compute users will benefit from future tailored enhancements to the base level Arm designs, including architecture blocks and cache management, which will have a direct impact on efficiency and performance for workload-optimized processors.”

About Los Alamos National Laboratory (

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Triad a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and The Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.