Over at Fierce Government IT, David Perera writes that a June Energy Department report to Congress indicates that building a viable exascale supercomputer by 2022 will likely require at least $1 billion to $1.4 billion in funding and won’t occur in America unless federal agencies spend money on its development.
Exascale suffers the problem of memory density improving at a slower rate than processor logic. Supercomputers currently require 10 times more energy to bring two numbers from memory into the processor than to perform the subsequent operation itself. Energy estimates that by 2020, that ratio could reach 50 times more. Energy says it will divide responsibilities for exascale development between the National Nuclear Security Administration–a semi-autonomous agency within DOE–and the Office of Science. The office will focus on long lead-time research and development, while NNSA will have primary responsibility for systems engineering. An Exascale Coordination Board headed by an NNSA official with an Office of Science deputy will synchronize efforts and ensure accountability, the report says.
Read the Full Story or Download the report: Department of Energy Exascale Strategy, Report to Congress.