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Will FastForward Be Fast Enough?

Unless you’ve been camped out in a doomsday fallout shelter, you must already be aware of the Department of Energy’s FastForward program awards, most of which were announced over the past few weeks by the vendors receiving those funding awards. Most, but not all. At least not that we’ve seen.

The total amount handed out to date as part of the DOE’s FastForward program is $62.5 million. That would be mildly impressive if it was all going to one vendor – or to one specific topic of research. But that amount has been disbursed among five (5) different vendors, covering three research areas, and stretched out over two years.

Yes, we said five vendors. Not just the four vendors as being reported in the other outlets. Whittling down the list from a total of 26 responses to DOE’s RFP, of which 10 focused on processors, 7 on memory and 9 on storage, the funding awards went to (in alphabetical order), AMD, IBM, Intel Federal, NVIDIA, and Whamcloud.

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