Skip to Content

SPXXL Charter


The founding member institutions of the SP-XXL were (alphabetically) Argonne National Laboratory, Cornell Theory Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Maui High Performance Computing Center, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.


The SP-XXL charter and its articles were initially adopted by SP-XXL on February 2, 1999. Subsequent amendments were made and adopted in February 2004 and May 2008, resulting in the following.

SP-XXL Charter

SP-XXL is an organized group of sites that work together to increase the capabilities of scaleable parallel (SP), large-scale (XXL), technical computing on IBM HPC hardware and to provide guidance to IBM on the essential development and support issues for large-scale technical IBM HPC systems (ex. PowerX, BlueGene, iDataplex, etc.).

Article 1. SP-XXL Membership and Voting

  1. Membership in the SP-XXL is by institution. A multi-site institution is represented as a single SP-XXL member. Only SP-XXL members and IBM employees are eligible to attend SP-XXL meetings as determined by SP-XXL member site representatives and the IBM representative.
  2. Each SP-XXL member institution has a single vote (cast by that institution's Voting Representative) on all SP-XXL activities and motions.
  3. A simple majority of the member SP-XXL institutions that are eligible for a vote is required to approve an activity or motion of the SP-XXL.
  4. IBM is an affiliate of the SP-XXL, not a voting member institution.
  5. Applying institutions, if they do not already operate a large IBM system, are required to have entered into a contract to have an IBM HPC system delivered to their site within 3 months of the date of application.
  6. In order to retain active status as an SP-XXL member site, institutions must maintain an IBM HPC system. The size of the configuration must not drop below that required to be considered for initial membership. If the IBM system configuration changes significantly at any member institution, that institution's status as an active member will be reviewed and reconsidered by a vote of the remaining SP-XXL membership. If the result of the vote of the remaining SP-XXL membership is to remove a specified site from the SP-XXL, then that institution shall be removed from membership roles and will not be permitted to attend SP-XXL meetings and participate in SP-XXL discussions. Organizations that are removed as member institutions shall be reconsidered for future membership at such time as they again meet the membership criteria and apply to join SP-XXL.
  7. Any institution that has not participated in SP-XXL for a 2 year span will be considered for having its membership revoked. Participation is defined as:
    1. Attendance at the Winter Meeting.
    2. Attendance at the Summer Meeting.
    3. Voting on report items.

    However, attending the meeting at the Supercomputing Conference does not count.
    Any institution not meeting these requirements will be brought before the membership for a vote.
    This rule takes effect at the Winter 2006 meeting.

  8. The SP-XXL Board of Management (BoM) shall comprise President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The membership will vote on the positions of President and Treasurer in even years and on the positions of Vice-President and Secretary in odd years; all Board members shall be elected to serve a two year term. The elections of BoM postitions will be taken at the first meeting of the year. The Vice-President will assume the duties of the President and complete the President's term if the President is unable to fulfill the duties or resigns. An election by email will be taken as needed to fill a vacant Vice-President position.
  9. Modification to (g.) above (May 2008): Adjunct Membership - Non-Participating members will have their voting privileges revoked without member vote. Reinstatement is automatic after attending 2 of 3 consecutive meetings (excluding SC)
  10. Modification to articles (e.) and (f.) above (May 2008): The term "large" (i.e. large system) replaced with "HPC" (High Performance Computing).

Article 2. Criteria for New SP-XXL Member Applications

An institution that wishes to join the SP-XXL must electronically submit a written application to the SP-XXL which provides the following information about their institution and its activities.

  1. Name of institution
  2. Location of institution
  3. URL for institution
  4. Lead person at institution for SP-XXL (Include name, mailing address, email address, telephone, and fax).
  5. Each of the following criteria factor equally into the evaluation of a new member application. An applying institution should describe its capabilities and activities that address each of the criteria.
    1. Institutional commitment on scientific/technical computing with a focus on large parallel computing (e.g., a parallel application running on 50% of their system nodes) [20%].
    2. Institutional objective to track advancements in scaleable parallel software and hardware technology (as far as possible within funding limitations and procurement regulations) [20%].
    3. Active R&D efforts in applications, tools/libraries or system software for the large scale system, either individually by the institution or in collaboration with one or more SP-XXL sites or IBM [20%].
    4. Operates one or more large IBM systems installed at their site that are used for large, parallel scientific/technical computing applications. Describe each such system and the applications. [20%].
    5. Specify the type of activities and contributions the institution plans to have in the SP-XXL. [20%].

Article 3. Process for New SP-XXL Member Applications

  1. A new member application must be nominated and sponsored by an existing SP-XXL member institution.
  2. New member applications are to provide all of the information specified in SP-XXL Article 2.
  3. The evaluation of a new member application is based upon the combined strength (or weakness) against all of the criteria in SP-XXL Article 2.e (i.e., no single criterion is a litmus test).
  4. All current member institutions with at least six months membership in SP-XXL are eligible to vote on the new member application.
  5. The voting period shall be limited to 30 days.
  6. There are three possible votes that an eligible institution can cast: YES, NO, ABSTAIN. A vote of YES is in support of membership. A vote of NO is a vote NOT is support of membership. A vote of ABSTAIN neither a vote for or against the application for membership and removes the institution ABSTAINING from the vote from the count of of eligible institutions.
  7. Sponsoring an application for membership is recorded as a YES vote for the application.
  8. Any eligible institution not casting a vote shall be counted as abstaining from the vote.
  9. A valid vote will consist of a minimum of 1/3 the total number of eligible voting institutions. If the number of votes cast does not meet this limit, the application is dismissed and the institution denied membership.
  10. Voting shall conclude early if more than 50% of the the eligible institutions cast a vote of YES.
  11. Any new institution that will gain voting priviliges during the voting period shall be permitted to vote on the new member application.
  12. There is a one-time registration fee of $100.00 (One Hundred U.S. Dollars) to cover the expenses of incorporating SP-XXL. This fee is collected at the first meeting attended by a new site's member(s). (May 2008)

Article 4. Organisation

  1. The President will create committees as necessary to perform the work of SP-XXL. Working Groups will be created on vote by the eligible members and the President will appoint Working Group leads as necessary to perform the duties of the Working Groups.
  2. The role of the Working Group leader includes authorship of the section of the annual report that relates to the subject area of the group and liaison with the IBM point of contact for the group.
  3. Each of the major areas of interest to SP-XXL shall be represented by a Working Group. Seven standing groups cover the core of SP-XXL discussions:
    • Resource Management
    • System Administration
    • Applications, Code Development Tools, Communications and Training
    • Parallel I/O
    • Service
    • Blue Gene
    • Security (added Winter 2007)

    Other groups may be set up as required.