They are building systems with one Tflop/s in a rack now. In four years' time they will reach the performance level of one Tflop/s per blade.
Steve Chen has created an Integral Grid for software control of resource access. I can run Video-on-Demand and IPTV applications on one side of the Grid, and healthcare, education or financial services on the other side. After midnight, the whole Grid can be running Weather Forecasting. It can provide Compute-On-Demand, Bandwidth-On-Demand and Knowledge-On-Demand instantaneously. We can detect which application is running and what it needs.
In the lower level it does so statically, not yet dynamically. So, if you say, "Today I want to partition the machine in three different ways with so many processors, so many disks, etc.", we can do it. to reach the higher levels, we need more intelligence to be integrated into the system. We need machine learning, human-machine interaction, artificial intelligence, intelligent search and pattern recognition.
This is being done in a company based in the USA and China, called HCOM, which has established the "THIRD-BRAIN Research Institute" where the core development is done. It is a long term and international effort to design a new generation of Supercomputers beyond Petaflop/s. The overall sponsoring company is called AHA!Ventures based in the USA. They are the one providing the funding as well as collaborating on the development and deployment of large-scale Integral Grid projects worldwide.
I have stepped out of Galactic completely and focused on the "THIRD-BRAIN Research Institute". And in the meantime, I am also working with the [Chinese] government, industries and universities in the actual development and deployment of large-scale healthcare and education applications on theIntegral Gridbased on the THIRD-BRAIN technologies. The applications will extend to other areas e.g. digital media, financial services, modern logistics, e-government, collaborative commerce, advanced design and R/D in semiconductors, equipments, aerospace, automotive, chemical, biomedical, pharmaceutical, petroleum, weather, material and renewable energy.
The THIRD-BRAIN is a future Bio-Supercomputer. We can use current Supercomputing Grid to simulate and emulate the THIRD-BRAIN. The THIRD-BRAIN can be thought of as an addition to the Human Brain - the First and the Second Brain (the Cerebrum and Cerebellum) inside our head.
The THIRD-BRAIN is outside and complements our own natural ones. It will do many jobs as well as or better than our Human Brain, but it will not decay, rarely be sick or can be self-healing. It can store a lot of information in addition to our Brain and will not forget easily. The Human Brain is better at higher-level intelligence. The THIRD-BRAIN cannot catch up with that in the near future. Maybe some day. We however, when we get older, we tend to forget things. If you have both Brains, functioning together, you will forget less and think fast. The THIRD-BRAIN will be close enough to emulate a real human brain for these functions.
Our goal is to establish an initial [third-brain] model within three years, and to refine the model to show some meaningful results within five years.
So the plan is bio-supercomputer extension to our brains with meaningful results in 5 years.
Petaflop supercomputer projects
A PDF of a powerpoint presentation of the status of supercomputer work in China as of June 2006