The Department of Energy’’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA’s) has awarded a subcontract to Dell Technologies for additional supercomputing systems to monitor the US nuclear weapons stockpile.

It will provide at least $40 million for more than 40 petaflops of expanded computing capacity delivered to the NNSA Tri-Labs of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).

Castle Bravo NOAA

The new capacity will support NNSA’s nuclear deterrent mission. The second Commodity Technology Systems contract (CTS-2) is funded by NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program.

“The CTS-2 systems will serve the NNSA stockpile management and production modernization programs, along with other mission-critical efforts underpinning our stockpile stewardship program,” said Thuc Hoang, director of NNSA ASC program. “We look forward to working closely with Dell Technologies as our new vendor partner in delivering more powerful and energy-efficient computing cycles to our customers.”

The computing systems built under the CTS-2 will be deployed in 1.5 petaflops building blocks known as scalable unit (Sus). Initial deliveries are scheduled to begin in mid-2022 through to 2025 and will replace systems acquired through the 2015 CTS-1 contract that are now nearing retirement.

The ASC system develops and deploys extensive modeling and simulation capabilities to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the US nuclear weapons stockpile in lieu of actual testing.

The CTS-2 SUs will be powered by Intel Xeon scalable processors (Sapphire Rapids) with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. Each laboratory will configure the SUs into more powerful multiple-SU systems according to their needs.

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