AMD, Intel among DoE supercomputer contract winners

Evrard Martin
Juin 16, 2017

Six technology giants have received funds from the Energy Department to accelerate research in support of USA efforts to create the country's first exascale supercomputer by 2021, our sister publication FCW.com reports.

Those companies include AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, IBM and Cray. "These awards will enable leading US technology firms to marshal their formidable skills, expertise, and resources in the global race for the next stage in supercomputing-exascale-capable systems".

The companies will be kicking in at least 40 percent of the costs, taking the total investment for the program to in excess of $430 million.

"It is essential that private industry play a role in this work going forward: Advances in computer hardware and architecture will contribute to meeting all four challenges". This has evidently kept the Department of Energy up at night, which has made a decision to throw money at AMD, Cray, IBM, and other giants so the United States can be the first to flaunt an exascale supercomputer capable of 1 quintillion calculations per second.

Exascale systems will be at least 50 times faster than the nation's most powerful computers today, and global competition for this technological dominance is fierce.

China now possesses the fastest supercomputer in the world, the Sunway TaihuLight, which is theoretically capable of 124.5 petaflops of performance, making it the first computer system to surpass 100 petaflops.

HPE is, essentially, getting a fistful of coins from a $258m pot provided by the Department of Energy to research and develop technology needed to build screaming-fast computers for scientific and national security applications.

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