Petya Petrova - Fotolia
US president Barack Obama has issued an executive order that calls for the US to develop the world's fastest computer by 2025 as part of a national strategic computing initiative.
The initiative aims to create a cohesive, multi-agency strategic vision and federal investment strategy in high-performance computing (HPC) in collaboration with industry and academia.
The second-fastest supercomputer in existence is in the US. The Titan Cray XK7 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, runs at 17.59 petaflops.
The US reportedly still has more entries on the top 500 list of supercomputers than any other country with 233 of the world’s fastest computers, compared with 141 in Europe and 37 in China.
The US government believes HPC machines are vital to advancing US economic competiveness, scientific discovery and national security.
According to the White House, deeper insights can be gained through new approaches that combine simulation with actual data.
This could lead to tools that assist radiologists in detecting cancer from X-ray images, for example, where this diagnostic ability is learned automatically by analysing large collections of medical data.
Other benefits of the initiative are expected to include new forms of computation such as simulations of weather that are coupled with actual observations from weather satellites.
According to UK experts, one of the biggest challenges to the US supercomputer development team will be increasing the power efficiency of components, reports the BBC.
Other key goals of the US initiative are to keep the US at the forefront of HPC capabilities, improving HPC application developer productivity, making HPC readily available, and establishing hardware technology for future HPC systems.
By strategically investing now, the US can prepare for increasing computing demands and emerging technological challenges, according to a blog post on the White House website.
Read more about supercomputers
- Rolls-Royce is the first company to sign up to a supercomputing brokerage scheme, giving it access to £60m worth of high-performance computing
- Intel has been extending its reach into exascale computing, supercomputing and custom silicon, all of which require hardware architectures optimised for running specific workloads.
- Lenovo has opened its first high-performance computing centre
- Virginia Tech, is using high-performance computing in the Microsoft Azure cloud
- The Atomic Weapons Establishment is building a high-performance computing cluster based on the SGI ICE XA system