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OPINIONS

New Exascale Supercomputer Set to Change the Way We Compute
By: James Payne
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    2010-08-10

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    Not long ago President Obama set forth the "Strategy for American Innovation" program, hoping to help America keep its edge in a world of ever-increasing technical, well - innovation. Part of this initiative includes creating computer systems that are both faster and more energy efficient.

    The problem is that as time progresses and more transistors are added on an integrated circuit, the amount of power being consumed increases and the programming it takes to handle the processes these new machines are capable of becomes ever more complicated.

    The solution? The UHPC -- or, as DARPA calls it, the Ubiquitous High Performance Computing program. According to the agency, the mission of the UHPC is to create a new generation of computer systems that defy the traditional "evolutionary" approach.

    The agency plans to totally reinvent the current model of computer architecture and change the way we program them, making them upwards of a thousand times more energy efficient, while increasing peak performance.

    The goal? The exascale supercomputer -- a computer capable of exaflop speed, one thousand times faster than the petaflop supercomputers we have now.

    To achieve this lofty goal, DARPA -- a uniquely structured team of around 140 "geniuses" whose job is to create out-of-this-world technology like the Hulc human exo-skeleton and the "transformer" armored flying car -- has enlisted the help of Intel, Nvidia, Sandia National Laboratory, and MIT.

    So when can we expect these new mega computers? In just a short six years, according to the agency.

    It may seem like an impossible task, especially for a government agency, but if they can create a little something known as the "Internet" and a plane that can fly itself, creating a new computer system in a little over half a decade should be a cakewalk.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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