|Worldwide Defense High Performance Computing (HPC) Market Forecast 2010-2015|
The announcement that Chinese high-performance computing researchers have achieved a performance of 2.5 petaflops using their Tianhe-1A supercomputer might trigger a new arms race High Performance Computing space. The Tianhe-1A machine is now the world’s most powerful computer, 40% faster than the fastest American machine located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. While the Chinese Tianhe-1A machine has been built using U.S.-designed processors and memory, it uses Chinese-designed interconnects that are faster those used in U.S. supercomputers. The Chinese have also become skilled in processor design and fabrication and are building another petaflop-class supercomputer using entirely indigenous components that is expected to be complete within the next 12 to 18 months. The computing capability represented by these new machines will provide Chinese consumers of high-performance computing with world-class facilities.
What experts say:
- “If one were to choose a metrics that represents the best national military capacity, the high performance computing power of a nation would win as the most comprehensive measure. More and more countries view supercomputing technology as a symbol of national military power.” – Worldwide Defense High Performance Computing (HPC) Market Forecast 2010-2015, Market Research Media
- “The United States cannot afford to take a back seat in computer technology to the Chinese, or to anyone else. The nation that leads the world in high-performance computing will have an enormous competitive advantage in every sector, including national defense, medicine, energy, environment, finance, manufacturing and product development.” – Eric D. Isaacs, Director of Argonne National Laboratory
- “I argued the importance of maintaining U.S. leadership in high-performance computing. Of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, more than half are in the U.S., and 90% were built by U.S. hardware vendors… I am spearheading planning within the Department to develop the next generation of supercomputers over the next decade, which will be capable of exaflop-class performance (a factor of 1000 more powerful than today’s most powerful computers). These machines will require paradigm shifts in both hardware and software in order to use significantly less energy per unit of computation and be more resilient against hardware failures. High-performance computing is a technology in which each generation of performance relies on the last, and we will use our most powerful computers to design and simulate the next generation. Hardware innovation for exascale machines will also be directly applicable to commodity electronics, making portable computers and smart phones much more powerful.” – Dr. Steven Koonin, Under Secretary for Science.