Although the rumors have not been confirmed, the recent presidential announcements indicate that Obama challenges China by funding production of exascale supercomputer. The program is called the National Strategic Computing Initiative and is meant to create a prototype that is 30 times faster than regular computers.
In spite of the recent talks concerning Artificial Intelligence and possible threats that similar endeavors could pose to humanity, President Barack Obama thinks the opposite. He has recently announced that the U.S. Government will grant a special fund for the National Strategic Computing Initiative, a comprehensive research in the computing field.
The program will not see only the participation of scientists and researchers, but rather the implication of all U.S. agencies and departments. The conjoined work will be carried out with the sole purpose of stimulating the production of exascale computing systems.
The supercomputer, as Obama has named it would have to incorporate hardware and software that is 100 times more powerful than the 10 petaflop systems available on the computer that the government is currently using.
All U.S. agencies and departments will benefit from the production of a supercomputer, the President has concluded. He has named just a few of the uses that the advanced exascale technology would bring, such as, the rapid modelling of planes and weapons, the accurate prediction of hurricanes and their effects on surrounding regions, as well as the improvement of medical treatments.
The most significant change that the new plan would bring does not refer to the amount of money that is being invested in this research, but rather to the implication of all the U.S. departments. The first attempts to set up a prototype of the supercomputer were made by the U.S. Department of Energy, but now that the initiative has been adopted, all agencies and governments will take part in the research.
Obama did not make any reference to the supercomputer prototype that China has already produced, but analysts have strong reasons to believe that the President’s new plan is a response to their scientific achievement. China’s 33.86 petaflop Tianhe-2 is considered to be the fastest supercomputer in the world, according to recent reports.
The United States, however, is still among the Top500 producers of advanced computing systems, scientists have reassured. Yet, the progress that China is making could leave the U.S. far behind; hence the President’s increasing interest in the field.
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