Navy researchers ask for industry's help with high-performance computing (HPC) and quantum networking

Feb. 23, 2024
Project will involve next-generation network protocol design; hardware and software design; data and files storage; and quantum information science.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy researchers announced plans this week to ask industry for help in developing high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performance networking that involves Ethernet, SONET, Packet-over-SONET, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand.

Officials of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington unveiled the Center for High Performance Computing Research and Development, Engineering, Technical and Transition Support Services project.

This project will involve research support for high-performance computing and next-generation network protocol design; hardware and software design such as data and files storage; performance analysis; application of high-performance computing; quantum information science; and research management support.

The project will involve research in high-performance networks and next-generation network protocols; research algorithms and tools for emerging high-performance networks that lead to hardware and software standards; and an emphasis on native stream communications channels like Ethernet, Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET), Packet-over-SONET (POS), Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, and wireless links.

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NRL researchers are interested in protocols that will go over transparent all-optical core network fabrics, and routing services that address network management and signaling issues, with attention to reliable, low-latency, and assured communication at multi-gigabit speeds.

The project also should lead to mathematical models for network performance and test suites for 100/1000/10000/100000-Gigabit Ethernet devices, SONET network fabrics ranging from optical carrier 3c to 768c link speeds and higher, and InfiniBand data links from 4x/12x single data rate to next data rate and beyond.

The project also will involve transparent multi-gigabit-per-second all-optical wavelength division networked core devices. Overall systems should include Gigabit Ethernet, SONET, Protocol G.709, POS, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand; Multi-Protocol Layer Switching, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), IPv6, and multicast; Dense Wave Division Multiplex (DWDM); all optical-to-optical-to-optical networks, and Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS).

Also part of the project are SMPTE 292M networked imagery; Ethernet local- and wide-area networking; modems and virtual private networking (VPN); NFS, AFS, ZFS, Lustre and other clustered distributed file systems; Kerberos (v5), DoD Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Common Access Card (CAC) and SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) distributed authentication services; Solaris, macOS, Windows, Linux (SuSe, Red Hat, CentOS), and other software operating systems.

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Initial research efforts will focus on single-stream data rates in the hundreds of gigabits per second range. Near-term efforts will move towards 400 gigabits per second, leading eventually to single-stream data rates that exceed 1 terabit per second.

Also involved is cryptographic testing, prototyping, and demonstration ranging from NSA Type 1 to commercial cryptography. The contractor will help develop cryptographic solutions for computer and network security ranging from unclassified to TOP SECRET/SCI, and from U.S.Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Coalition Forces like the Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation System (BICES).

Architectures will support devices that range from NSA Type 1 cryptography to Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) to generic commercial solutions, and work related to Data At Rest (DAR) and Zero Trust. In addition the contract must understand quantum information science, quantum computation, quantum networks, and quantum sensing.

Related: Michigan eyes quantum computing to solve realistic problems for the military with computational efficiency

The project will award one five-year contract. NRL experts say they will issue a solicitation before 5 April 2024.

Incumbent contractors are: Computer Integration and Programming Solutions; Fulcrum IT Services LLC; IOMAXIS. Inc.; Praxis Inc.; Zurka Interactive LLC; L3Harris Technologies; Key W Corp.; Parsons Government Services Inc.; and Sotera Defense Solutions Inc.

Companies that would like to bid should email their interest no later than 6 April 2024 to NRL's Brandon Zellers at [email protected].

Email questions or concerns to NRL's Brandon Zellers at [email protected] and Jason Calandruccio at [email protected]. More information is online at

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