SUPERCOMPUTERS are pretty much an opportunity for tech firms and countries to do some compute-based willy-waving; case in point Intel's announcement that it and partner Cray will build the most powerful supercomputer the world has seen in the US.
The land of gun nutters and good burgers already has the world's most powerful supercomputer in the form of Summit, which runs at 200 petaflops when fully cranked thanks to having a load of IBM tech in its guts.
But the proposed Aurora supercomputer, which will be made for the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, will trump Summit buy being the first "exascale" supercomputer, and one that runs Intel on the inside.
That gobbledygook means it will carry out up to "quintillion" floating point computations per second; that's even more flops than you'd find at Tubby Trevor's Bellyflop Diving Club.
To paraphrase our boy Kanye; what does one do with all that power? Well, it'll crunch through traditional high-performance computing workloads as well as handle complex artificial intelligence algorithms, according to Intel.
And apparently, this $500m+ supercomputer undertaking isn't just the US and Intel showing off, as US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry reckons all the power is needed.
"Achieving exascale is imperative, not only to better the scientific community, but also to better the lives of everyday Americans," said Perry. "Aurora and the next generation of exascale supercomputers will apply HPC and AI technologies to areas such as cancer research, climate modelling and veterans' health treatments. The innovative advancements that will be made with exascale will have an incredibly significant impact on our society."
Maybe it could figure out why a huge amount of Yanks voted a bloke with a Wotsit coloured hairdo and a tendency to spout drivel to be their president...
But with great power comes a great need for space, as when 2021 comes calling, the Department of Energy will need to find somewhere to put more than 200 cabinets stuffed full of Cray's tech and Intel's Xeon processors and Optane storage.
So pretty soon the US will have two world-class supercomputers. But we expect some boffins in China will have something to say about that in the near-future. µ
So that's why she's smiling…
How many Zuckbucks to the pound?
Alexa, is this exploitation?