Science Live is hosting a live chat entitled The Future of Supercomputers on Thursday, January 24 at 4:00 PM EST. Panelists include Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee, Horst Simon from LBNL, and Robert Service from Science Magazine.
Over the past few decades, supercomputers have grown steadily faster and more powerful. Today’s top machine is able to crunch 17.6 million billion calculations per second, or 17.6 petaflops. Researchers are now pondering making their next great leap in supercomputing power, up to 1000 petaflops, also known as an exaflop. Exascale computers would be more than 50 times faster than current machines, and thus ideal for running complex simulations such as determining the role of clouds in climate change and modeling new engine designs to burn advanced biofuels. But developing exascale supercomputers is expected to require a revolution in supercomputer design and technology and cost hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. Will it be possible to develop exascale supercomputers? If so, when can we expect to see them? What will they be capable of doing? And which governments will step up to foot the bill?
Update: The full Chat Replay is now available.