Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Forget quad-core; try 1 million by 2018

ComputerWorld - 11.16.2009 (by Patrick Thibodeau)

The push is on to build exascale systems that can solve the planet's biggest problems.

There is a race to make supercomputers as powerful as possible to solve some of the world's most important problems, including climate change, the need for ultra-long-life batteries for cars, operating fusion reactors with plasma that reaches 150 million degrees Celsius and creating bio-fuels from weeds and not corn.

Supercomputers allow researchers to create three-dimensional visualizations, not unlike a video game, to run endless "what-if" scenarios with increasingly finer detail. But as big as they are today, supercomputers aren't big enough -- and a key topic for some of the estimated 11,000 people now gathering in Portland, Ore. for the 22nd annual supercomputing conference, SC09, will be the next performance goal: an exascale system.

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