Leaders in the petascale computing arena in the United States and Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a cooperative relationship in support of projects aimed at expanding the use of petascale computing in the scientific and engineering communities.

The MOU was signed at SC13, a supercomputing conference being held in Denver, by Kimihiko Hirao, director of the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) of Japan, and Michael E. Papka, director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) of the U.S.

The MOU identifies areas of mutual interest to both organizations and brings several new research capabilities to AICS, which is funded by the Japanese government through the RIKEN research institute, and the ALCF, a U.S. Department of Energy leadership computing facility in support of open science located at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago. Petascale computing refers to a computer system capable of reaching performance in excess of one petaflops– that is, one quadrillion floating point operations per second.

“As we move forward with our high performance computing initiatives, it is critical that we collaborate globally with organizations that have similar goals in mind,” said Papka.

Among the distinguished guests attending the ceremony were AICS Vice Director Akinori Yonezawa, AICS Policy Planning Division Head Hiroshi Kataoka, Argonne Associate Laboratory Director Rick Stevens, ALCF Deputy Director Susan Coghlan and ALCF Director of Science Paul Messina.

RIKEN is Japan's flagship research institute devoted to basic and applied research. The RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science conducts leading-edge simulation research and human resource development programs, centering around institutions that power research and development in each strategic field.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.