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Exaflops May Require Reinvention of Computing

Chris Mims writes on his blog that while conventional technology has allowed the petascale to be reached, attaining exascale levels might require a “reinvention of computing.”  Basic physics, such as quantum tunneling, is likely put a stop to improvements that simply shrink everything on a chip.

“To me the major happening over the past few years is that we were able to reach petascale using conventional technology,” says Thom Dunning, head of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “It was an evolution of a technology path we’ve been on for the past five years. We can’t reach exascale with same technology path.”

Mims wonders if  exascale computing will be realized via optical computingquantum computing or some other technology yet to be envisioned?

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