THE US DEPARMENT OF ENERGY (DoE) has thrown $325m at IBM and Nvidia to build the world's fastest supercomputers by 2017.
Dubbed Sierra and Summit, the two supercomputers are tipped to deliver more three times the performance of those currently available.
They are expected to perform at 100 petaflops and 150 petaflops, respectively, compared to the world's current top super-computer, the Intel-powered Tianhe-2, which performs at 55 petaflops.
This will be thanks to IBM's OpenPower chips and Nvidia's new Volta graphics chip, along with Mellanox's high-speed networking kit.
IBM is promising much-improved performance thanks its new data-centric architecture, which will embed compute power everywhere data resides in the system, allowing for a "convergence of analytics, modelling, visualization and simulation, driving new insights at incredible speeds."
Tom Rosamilia, SVP of IBM's Systems and Technology Group said: "Today's announcement marks a shift from traditional supercomputing approaches that are no longer viable as data grows at enormous rates,
"IBM's Data Centric approach is a new paradigm in computing, marking the future of open computing platforms and capable of addressing the growing rates of data."
The DoE, which has thrown an extra $100m at the project for research into 'extreme scale supercomputing' in a bid to make supercomputers 20 to 40 times faster, said that Sierra will be used for nuclear weapons simulations at California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Summit will be built for civilian and scientific use at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and will be five time's more powerful than it current system.
Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia said: "Today's science is tomorrow's technology.
"Scientists are tackling massive challenges from quantum to global to galactic scales. Their work relies on increasingly more powerful supercomputers. Through the invention of GPU acceleration, we have paved the path to exascale supercomputing -- giving scientists a tool for unimaginable discoveries." µ
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