The DOE noted it's the largest amount of supercomputing power awarded in its history and three times the amount awarded last year. The processing power cuts the time it takes to do research from years to weeks or months.
The computing power, donated through DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (Incite) program, comes from various supercomputers at DOE labs and computing facilities throughout the country.
Fifty-five projects will receive processor hours, the DOE said. Thirty-one projects are new and 24 will continue previous work. Seventeen are conducted through universities, nine came from DOE labs, and the remainder came from other public, private, and international researchers.
Industry partners receiving the awards include Ansys; Boeing; Corning; Gene Network Sciences; General Atomics; General Motors; Pratt and Whitney; and Procter & Gamble.
Incite marks its fifth year by supporting research into protein folding and its role in health, climate predictions and climate change, energy, combustion chemistry simulations, and modeling supernova explosions and simulating black holes.
The DOE has expanded its supercomputing capacity, allowing scientists to receive more computing time. A project receiving 1 million processor hours on supercomputers could run on 1,000 processors for 1,000 hours, or about 41 days. Running a 1-million-hour project on a dual-processor desktop computer would take more than 57 years.
The next round of the Incite competition will be announced this summer, and DOE plans to quadruple the 2009 Incite awards to give away nearly 1 billion processor hours.