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House Passes Exascale Bill to Support Next Generation Computing

While exascale computing has been a topic here since 2009, it has not had much of mandate by the U.S. government. That may be changing as this week the House of Representatives passed the American Super Computing Leadership Act of 2014 (H.R. 2495). The bill passed the House by voice vote and will go on to the Senate for consideration.

Rep. Randy Hultgren

Rep. Randy Hultgren

The American Super Computing Leadership Act requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a plan to bring the United States into the next generation of super computing, also known as exascale computing. The Advanced Scientific Computing Research program at DOE is the primary federal research and development program for these computing technology breakthroughs. High performance computing has enabled researchers to push beyond our previously understood scientific boundaries.

Exascale computing, exceeding the existing generation of super computing power by 10,000 percent, represents an exciting new world of science and American leadership,” said Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), who proposed the bill. “Unfortunately, America is falling behind as China boasts the world’s fastest computer and is not slowing down. Massive gains in computing power are necessary to meet our national security, scientific, and health care needs. Testing our nuclear stockpile as it ages will require more and more advanced computer simulations. Advanced modeling of the human brain gives scientists a better understanding of what causes Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, and what can treat it. Faster computing power speeds up drug development to get cures for our nation’s top killers to the marketplace faster so Americans receive better health outcomes.”

Among other provisions, H.R. 2495:

  • Instructs the Secretary of Energy to carry out a coordinated research program across the Department to develop exascale computing systems.
  • Establishes two or more National Lab-industry-university partnerships to conduct integrated research, development, and engineering of prototype exascale systems, while developing and deploying them for advanced scientific and engineering applications.
  • Requires an integrated strategy and program management plan from the Department and regular status reports to Congress.

The American Super Computing Leadership Act builds on the great work of my former colleague in Illinois Rep. Judy Biggert by encouraging DOE research to develop exascale computing systems. I am pleased the House voted to pass this important piece of legislation that will propel our country into the future.”

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