Update on the race to the Exaflop supercomputer

Six leading US technology companies will receive $258 million in funding from the Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as part of its new PathForward program. This money is to accelerate the research necessary to deploy the nation’s first exascale supercomputers in about 2021.

The $258 million in funding will be allocated over a three-year contract period, with companies providing additional funding amounting to at least 40 percent of their total project cost, bringing the total investment to at least $430 million.

The award recipients:
· Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
· Cray Inc. (CRAY)
· Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
· International Business Machines (IBM)
· Intel Corp. (Intel)

The Department’s funding for this program is supporting R and D in three areas – hardware technology, software technology, and application development – with the intention of delivering at least one exascale-capable system by 2021.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently revealed a prototype of its memory centric system called “The Machine”. It has 160 terabytes of memory.

Nvidia is continuing to have success scaling the performance and energy efficiency of their GPGPUs.

China currently has the two fastest supercomputers. Earlier in 2017, China said they were on track to the world’s first exascale machine,the Tianhe-3, by the year 2020.

US supercomputer got bumped down the list of top supercomputers when a Swiss computer took the third place spot.

A Tianhe-3 prototype is to be ready by 2018.