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Six Companies Awarded $258 Million From US Government To Build Exascale Supercomputers (digitaltrends.com) 40

The U.S. Department of Energy will be investing $258 million to help six leading technology firms -- AMD, Cray Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, and Nvidia -- research and build exascale supercomputers. Digital Trends reports: The funding will be allocated to them over the course of a three-year period, with each company providing 40 percent of the overall project cost, contributing to an overall investment of $430 million in the project. "Continued U.S. leadership in high performance computing is essential to our security, prosperity, and economic competitiveness as a nation," U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said. "These awards will enable leading U.S. technology firms to marshal their formidable skills, expertise, and resources in the global race for the next stage in supercomputing -- exascale-capable systems." The funding will finance research and development in three key areas; hardware technology, software technology, and application development. There are hopes that one of the companies involved in the initiative will be able to deliver an exascale-capable supercomputer by 2021.

Six Companies Awarded $258 Million From US Government To Build Exascale Supercomputers

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  • These people don't make enough money? Please! It's just another handout.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      When France does this its gets spied on https://wikileaks.org/nsa-fran... [wikileaks.org]
      When the USA does this its essential to "security, prosperity, and economic competitiveness"
    • but do we get something for that money compared to the return on say giving a bunch of inner city savages money?

    • by PJ6 ( 1151747 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @01:39AM (#54630939)

      These people don't make enough money? Please! It's just another handout.

      You're kidding, right?

      Defense spending is supposed [youtube.com] to be a handout to tech industry.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      better than spending billions on weapons systems that the pentagon doesn't even want

  • by Anonymous Coward

    obligatory Beowulf reference

  • > with each company providing 40 percent of the overall project cost

    So, the six companies are going to contribute 240% of the project's cost? I guess they're already expecting overruns.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      no they give the 60% of the project cost of each company and the company pays 40%. that's the individual projects.

      combined they are that 430 something million.

      so sounds like they have multiple projects and each company runs their own project of which they pay 40%.

      or rather.. come on.. it goes like this. the company gets the 60% from goverment and then uses that 60% to run the project as their own funds and pockets the 20% difference as profit.

  • Just trying to keep up with the Chinese, I see ...

  • Does this mean that firefox will finally be able to run flash without coming to a complete standstill?

  • Sure, there are problems that need some serious computation, but could they also be done with smaller (large) computers working longer? Super computers are generally a shared resource anyway.

    One wonders whether this is a real investment in progress, or just a keep up with the Chinese project. Or like the international space station, nothing to do with science.

    • Sure, there are problems that need some serious computation, but could they also be done with smaller (large) computers working longer? Super computers are generally a shared resource anyway.

      The Department of Energy likes to use supercomputers to run exceedingly detailed simulations of nuclear weapons, in all sorts of states, from exploding to moldering away inside of ballistic missile submarines. For the exploding part, they do it because the US has signed treaties agreeing not to detonate real ones as tests anymore. For the moldering part, they're trying to verify that they'll still explode properly if needed, again without actually dragging one out of a submarine and trying it out. Being

    • by enjar ( 249223 )
      Yes. It's useful, in the same way that research into the extremes of anything is useful. People develop better things all the time and some of those innovations will become changes to mass market goods. Examples of that kind of thing might include carbon fiber (was exotic, now seen in many autos and planes), all the innovations associated with the microprocessor, solar cells, etc. Supercomputing is the far end of the scale of the computing spectrum where really hard problems are tackled, pushing the bounds
  • by Laxator2 ( 973549 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:38AM (#54631385)

    I remember an article a couple of years back on this subject, and it explained that exascale computing is not feasible unless the energy cost of moving a single bit around goes down from the picojoules range into the femtojoules.

    The closest reference I can find now is:

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-... [ieee.org]

    The relevant part is:

    "Data needs to move on interconnects and they found that even using some really cool emerging technology it still cost 1-3 picojoules for a bit to go through just one interconnect level"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought Trump knew everything! Why don't they just ask him what he believes that answer should be. If the research comes to a different conclusion, they'll just ignore the faulty research anyway.

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