Scaling computations on emerging massive-core super-computers is a daunting task, which coupled with the significantly lagging system I/O capabilities exacerbates applications' end-to-end performance. The I/O bottleneck often negates potential performance benefits of assigning additional compute cores to an application. In this paper, we address this issue via a novel functional partitioning (FP) runtime environment that allocates cores to specific application tasks - checkpointing, de-duplication, and scientific data format transformation - so that the deluge of cores can be brought to bear on the entire gamut of application activities. The focus is on utilizing the extra cores to support HPC application I/O activities and also leverage solid-state disks in this context. For example, our evaluation shows that dedicating 1 core on an oct-core machine for checkpointing and its assist tasks using FP can improve overall execution time of a FLASH benchmark on 80 and 160 cores by 43.95% and 41.34%, respectively.