Obama Orders Speedy Delivery of First Exascale Supercomputer

By Jeremy Hsu

Growth in the performance of ever-faster supercomputers has started tapering off even as experts look to the next big milestone: an exascalesupercomputer capable of performing 1 million trillion floating-point operations per second (1 exaflops). Perhaps that’s why President Barack Obama signed a new executive order to coordinate U.S. efforts in pushing supercomputers beyond today’s limits on semiconductor technology.

Obama’s July 29 order creates a National Strategic Computing Initiativeaimed at coordinating the government’s strategy for developing and deploying high-performance computers. One huge strategic goal: “accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system that integrates hardware and software capability to deliver approximately 100 times the performance of current 10 petaflop systems across a range of applications representing government needs.” Countries such as China and Japan aim to build their first exascale supercomputer by 2020, whereas the U.S. is currently on track to achieve isfirst exascale supercomputer by 2023 at the earliest. ….[Read more]