The Exascale Timeframe: 2020 – 2022

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Presentations from a number of the technology leaders now show the stretch goal for achieving a working exascale system has moved out to 2020. Most of them quickly add that 2022 is perhaps even more realistic.

Just to clarify for our readers, 2018 was never a guaranteed delivery date for an exascale system. While some companies have stated they will have an exascale system by 2018, that’s about as credible as saying “we can build an exascale system today if price and power consumption don’t matter.”? Well, they do matter.

2018 was a stretch goal. It was a target to rally the entire industry and to give the race a sense of urgency. It was chosen based on what some people believed was achievable – in the broadest sense of the word.

Today’s best estimates say an Exascale-class system will cost more than $200 million. That estimate does not factor in the ten to twelve years of research funds needed to get us there. If we could truly build a practical, working exascale system today for $200 million, most people believe we would do it. Intel or IBM would write a check and claim the bragging rights. The fact is, there will be billions of dollars of research leading up to this milestone. But even if money were not the issue, many believe we just don’t have the vision or the clear direction and leadership to put all the pieces in place to get us there.

But for now, it’s time to update those slides. No more 2018. I’m going with 2022.

For related stories, visit The Exascale Report Archives.


  1. MikeB-guest says