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Rick Stevens Makes the Case for Exascale

Over at the ScaleOut Blog, Rob Mitchum writes that Argonne’s Rick Stevens made a great case for Exascale at the recent hearing on Capitol Hill.

We have identified five major hurdles that must be overcome if we are to achieve our goal of pushing the computing performance frontier to the Exascale by the end of the decade:

  • We must reduce system power consumption by at least a factor of 50.
  • We must improve memory performance and lower cost by a factor of 100.
  • We must improve our ability to program systems with dramatically increased levels of parallelism.
  • We must increase the parallelism of our applications software, math librareis and operating systems by at least a factor of 1,000.
  • We must improve systems reliability by at least a factor of 10.

These are not simple tasks. But all of us who are working in this community believe that Exascale supercomputing will be a reality by the end of this decade. It will happen first in the U.S. if we can get the investment needed. This bill is a great start to that commitment. Ultimately, this is a race, not against our international competitors, but rather it’s a race for us. Exascale computing is necessary to the achievement of our most urgent goals in energy, in medicine, in science and in the environment. And it will have a profound impact on industry competitiveness and national security. I believe we have a duty to move as swiftly as we can.

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