DOE taps 6 firms for exascale computing research


The Department of Energy has awarded six tech firms a total of $258 million in funding for research and development into exascale computing. The move comes as the U.S. is falling behind in the world of top supercomputers.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced that AMD, Cray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel and Nvidia will receive financial support from the Department of Energy over the course of a three-year period. The funding will finance research and development in three main areas: hardware technology, software technology and application development.

Each company will provide 40 percent of the overall project cost in addition to the government funding. The plan is for one of those companies to be able to deliver an exascale-capable supercomputer by 2021. It’s part of the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP), which in turn is part of its new PathForward program, designed to accelerate the research necessary to deploy the nation’s first exascale supercomputers.

“Continued U.S. leadership in high-performance computing is essential to our security, prosperity and economic competitiveness as a nation,” Perry said in a statement. “These awards will enable leading U.S. technology firms to marshal their formidable skills, expertise and resources in the global race for the next stage in supercomputing—exascale-capable systems.” 

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