Unfortunately take codes from Tier-2 with GPU to Tier-1 without GPU is a *huge* step backward. These calls are holding back the true potential of #GPU computing in accelerating scientific discovery! https://t.co/qVVEWFDXt1— Filippo Spiga (@filippospiga) May 20, 2020
Of course, the real answer depends on your definition of "leadership HPC." Does a supercomputer qualify as "leadership" by definition if its budget is leadership-level? Or does it need to enable science at a scale that was previously unavailable? And does that science necessarily have to require dense floating point operations, as the Gordon Bell Prize has historically incentivized? Does simulation size even have anything to do with the actual impact of the scientific output?
While I do genuinely believe that the global exascale effort has brought nearly immeasurable good to the HPC industry, it's now casting a very stark shadow that brings contrast to the growing divide between energy-efficient, accelerated computing (and the science that can make use of it) and all the applications and science domains that do not neatly map to dense linear algebra. This growing divide causes me to lose sleep at night because it's splitting the industry into two parts with unequal share of capital. The future is not bright for infrastructure for long-tail HPC funded by the public, especially since the cloud is aggressively eating up this market.
Because this causes a lot of personal anxiety about the future of the industry in which I am employed, I submitted the following whitepaper in response to an NSCI RFI issued in 2019 titled "Request for Information on Update to Strategic Computing Objectives." To be clear, I wrote this entirely on my personal time and without the permission or knowledge of anyone who pays me--to that extent, I did not write this as a GPU- or DOE-apologist company man, and I did not use this as a springboard to advance my own research agenda as often happens with these things. I just care about my own future and am continually trying to figure out how much runway I've got.
The TL;DR is that I am very supportive of efforts such as Fugaku and Crossroads (contrary to accusations otherwise), which are looking to do the hard thing and advance the state of the art in HPC technology without leaving wide swaths of traditional HPC users and science domains behind. Whether or not efforts like Fugaku or Crossroads are enough to keep the non-Exascale HPC industry afloat remains unclear. For what it's worth, I never heard of any follow-up to my response to this RFI and expect it fell on deaf ears.