Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Extreme-scale computing - approaching one quintillion calculations per second

NetworkWorld - 6.23.10 by Michael Cooney

Not known for taking the demure route, researchers at DARPA this week announced a program aimed at building computers that exceed current peta-scale computers to achieve the mind-altering speed of one quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

Dubbed extreme scale computing, such machines are needed DARPA says to "meet the relentlessly increasing demands for greater performance, higher energy efficiency, ease of programmability, system dependability and security." 

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DARPA says its Omnipresent High Performance Computing (OHPC) systems will involve all manner of new research and development.  Specifically the outfit is looking for:

    * Hardware, software and algorithms for reducing and managing power requirements for high performance computing systems, including the memory and storage hierarchy

    * Hardware, software and language design that enables highly programmable systems, which reduces the need for users to be aware of system complexity, including heterogeneous cores, the memory hierarchy

    * Improved hardware and software for bolster system dependability, managing the component failure rate, and security compromises including approaches for shared information and responsibility among the OS, runtime system, and applications

    * Scalable I/O systems, which may include alternatives to file systems

    * Self aware system software, including operating system, runtime system, I/O system, system management/administration, resource management and means of exposing resources, and external environments

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