Trump likely to see the birth of an exascale system

An exascale supercomputer will likely be realized within the Trump administration’s first term, which could be a tipping point for the U.S. Supercomputing is viewed as essential to national competitiveness because of the increasingly virtual nature of research and product development. Europe has set an exascale delivery schedule of 2022 along with a $749-million commitment, while both China and Japan aim to have a system ready by 2020. China is using its own microchips, while a European system in development uses ARM processors. The Obama administration initially set a 2023-2024 target date for exascale, but amended it in its final weeks to 2021, with a projected budget of $3.1 billion to $5.7 billion. Argonne National Laboratory’s Paul Messina says the U.S. Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project “is now a seven-year project, not a 10-year project, but it will cost more.” China currently has the world’s fastest supercomputer, running at about 125 petaflops. Although the U.S. exascale project’s goals include contributing to the country’s economic competitiveness and supporting national security, another objective is developing a software stack, in collaboration with vendors, that smaller systems in industry and academia can utilize.

More info here: Computerworld (01/20/17) Patrick Thibodeau

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