Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
Distributed Terascale Facility (DTF)
This program has been archived.
See program guidelines for contact information.
In FY 2001 NSF seeks to open a pathway to future computing, communications, and information environments by creating a very large-scale system that is part of the rapidly expanding computational Grid1. NSF will establish an advanced, multi-site "distributed facility" connected by ultra high-speed networking that will significantly enhance the capabilities of U.S. researchers in all areas of computational, computer, and information science and engineering. This environment will include at least one single-site computing system capable of five or more teraflops per second (peak) performance. However, since modern scientific and engineering research requires more than just computational capability, this terascale computer system will be embedded within an overall system that also provides sophisticated data handling and interaction with remote sites. This distributed facility will include substantial support for accessing, analyzing, processing, transmitting, and visualizing multi-terabyte data collections of current and future interest to the U.S. research community. This will require the DTF to have terabytes to petabytes of online and archival storage available for user access and multi-gigabit per second network connectivity. The DTF will be fully coordinated with the resources and activities of the existing PACI partnerships. Special consideration will be given to qualified proposals that utilize newer generation processors and other High Performance Computing equipment. Full exploitation of this new computational environment will be enabled by fundamental computer science research on new algorithms, data structures, system software, information mining and visualization techniques, and collaborative environments for data exploration and analysis.
1. "The word 'grid' is chosen by analogy with the electric power grid, which provides pervasive access to power and, like the computer and a small number of other advances, has had a dramatic impact on human capabilities and society. We believe that by providing pervasive, dependable, consistent and inexpensive access to advanced computational capabilities, databases, sensors, and people, computational grids will have a similar transforming effect, allowing new classes of applications to emerge." From the Preface to The Grid, Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. (1999), edited by Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman.