The goal of the Federal High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Program is to accelerate the development of future generations of high performance computers and networks and the use of these resources in the Federal government and throughout the American economy. Scalable high performance computers, advanced high speed computer communications networks, and advanced software are critical components of a new National Information Infrastructure (NII). This infrastructure is essential to our national competitiveness and will enable us to strengthen and improve the civil infrastructure, digital libraries, education and lifelong learning, energy management, the environment, health care, manufacturing processes and products, national security, and public access to government information.
The HPCC Program evolved out of the recognition in the early 1980s by American scientists and engineers and leaders in government and industry that advanced computer and telecommunications technologies could provide huge benefits throughout the research community and the entire U.S. economy. The Program is the result of several years of effort by senior government, industry, and academic scientists and managers to initiate and implement a program to extend U.S. leadership in high performance computing and networking technologies and to apply those technologies to areas of profound impact on and interest to the American people.
The Program is planned, funded, and executed through the close cooperation of Federal agencies and laboratories, private industry, and academia. These efforts are directed toward ensuring that to the greatest extent possible the Program meets the needs of all communities involved and that the results of the Program are brought into the research and educational communities and into the commercial marketplace as rapidly as possible.
Now halfway through its five-year effort, the Program's considerable achievements include:
More than 6,000 regional, state, and local IP (Internet Protocol) networks in the U.S., and more than 12,000 worldwide, are connected; more than 800 of the approximately 3,200 two-year and four-year colleges and universities in the Nation are interconnected; and an estimated 1,000 high schools also are connected to the Internet. Traffic on the NSFNET backbone has doubled over the past year and has increased a hundred-fold since 1988.
Already, HPCC research in the next generation of networking technologies indicates that the Program goal of sustained gigabit (billions of bits) per second transmission speeds will be achieved by no later than 1996.
Many of these problems are "Grand Challenges," fundamental problems in science and engineering with broad economic and scientific impact whose solution can be advanced by applying high performance computing techniques and resources. These science and engineering Grand Challenge problems have motivated both the creation and the evolution of the HPCC Program. Solution of these problems is critical to the missions of several agencies participating in the Program.
The HPCC Program fully supports and is closely coordinated with the Administration's efforts to accelerate the development and deployment of the NII. The Program and its participating agencies will help provide the basic research and technological development to support NII implementation. To this end, several strategic and programmatic modifications have been made to the HPCC Program. The most significant of these is the addition of a new program component, Information Infrastructure Technology and Applications (IITA).
IITA is a research and development effort that will enable the integration of critical information systems and their application to "National Challenge" problems. National Challenges are major societal needs that computing and communications technology can help address in key areas such as the civil infrastructure, digital libraries, education and lifelong learning, energy management, the environment, health care, manufacturing processes and products, national security, and public access to government information. The IITA component will develop and demonstrate prototype solutions to National Challenge problems.
IITA technologies will support advanced applications such as:
The five HPCC Program components and their key aspects are:
HPCC Program agencies work closely with industry and academia in developing, supporting, and using HPCC technology. In addition, industrial, academic, and professional societies provide critical analyses of the HPCC Program through conferences, workshops, and reports. Through these efforts, Program goals and accomplishments are better understood and Program planning and management are strengthened.
The National Coordination Office (NCO) for High Performance Computing and Communications was established in September 1992 to provide a central focus for Program implementation. The Office coordinates the activities of participating agencies and organizations, and acts as a liaison to Congress, industry, academia, and the public. National Library of Medicine Director Donald A. B. Lindberg concurrently serves as Director of the NCO, in which capacity he reports directly to John H. Gibbons, the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
In the past year, the National Security Agency, in the Department of Defense, and the Department of Education have joined the HPCC Program, bringing to 10 the number of participating agencies. The total FY 1993 HPCC budget for these 10 agencies is $805 million. For FY 1994, the proposed HPCC Program budget for the 10 agencies is $1.096 billion, representing a 36 percent increase over the appropriated FY 1993 level.
The HPCC Program is one of six multiagency programs under the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET). The other five programs are Advanced Manufacturing; Advanced Materials and Processing; Biotechnology Research; Global Change Research; and Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education. Each of these depends on the capabilities provided by HPCC.
The FY 1994 Program and this document are the products of the High Performance Computing, Communications, and Information Technology Subcommittee (HPCCIT) under the direction of the FCCSET Committee on Physical, Mathematical, and Engineering Sciences (CPMES).
Build more energy-efficient cars and airplanes
Design better drugs
Forecast weather and predict global climate change
Improve environmental modeling
Improve military systems
Understand how galaxies are formed
Understand the nature of new materials
Understand the structure of biological molecules
The civil infrastructure
Education and lifelong learning
Manufacturing processes and products
Public access to government information