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NSF 06-035: Frequently Asked Questions about “Leadership-Class System Acquisition - Creating a Petascale Computing Environment for Science and Engineering (NSF 06-573)”

This page provides clarification and pointers to additional material that might be of interest to people and organizations considering submitting a proposal in response to the solicitation named above. The full text of the solicitation may be found at .

This page was last updated on June 15th, 2006.

  1. Will these FAQs be updated and how will I know if an update occurs?

If we receive questions about the solicitation that may be of general interest, we may add the question and an appropriate answer to this list of FAQs. Unfortunately, we have no reliable mechanism for broadcasting an announcement that an update to the FAQs has occurred. Prospective PIs are encouraged to check this web address periodically.

  1. What are some additional sources of information that might be helpful to prospective proposing organizations?

Prospective proposing organizations might find the following to be useful sources of background information:

Information about usage of existing NSF-funded major HPC centers. - LRAC, MRAC and NRAC allocations - Resource allocations at NCAR’s Climate Simulation Lab.

Information about NSF awards - search for project abstract by investigator name, project title or award number.

A number of research communities have articulated their future HPC science and engineering goals in workshop reports and similar documents. A number of these may be accessed from the OCI web page,

  1. Proposing organizations are required to ensure open access for researchers; what does this mean?

The awardee will be required to provide system access to personnel associated with projects that receive HPC allocations through the national Large Resource Allocation Committee. (See This is not intended to curtail the right of an awardee to restrict access for personnel who have misused their access privileges. Nor should it be interpreted as requiring an awardee to provide users with physical access to the HPC systems.

  1. Is it permissible to include, in a single proposal, options for a particular architecture deployed at two or more different scales at correspondingly different costs? E.g. Option 1: system X for $YM; Option 2: 2 times System X for $ZM.

No. Each proposal should be for the acquisition and deployment of a single, petascale, HPC system.