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ACM TechNews

Global Race Toward Exascale Will Drive Supercomputing, AI to Masses

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China supercomputer

Industrial trends in high-performance computing (HPC) are setting a foundation for the eventual pervasiveness of artificial intelligence and big data applications within the mainstream, according to a new Hyperion report. Report co-author Steve Conway predicts exaflop computers breaking into the Top500 list by 2021 and exaflop supercomputing becoming routine by 2023. "IDC believes that countries that fail to fund development of these future leadership-class supercomputers run a high risk of falling behind other highly developed countries in scientific innovation, with later harmful consequences for their national economies," the report says.

Conway also expects the problems currently holding back HPC systems will be addressed by future consumer and industry technologies. Technological breakthroughs Conway anticipates include more power-efficient supercomputers that rapidly deactivate and power up idle computer cores, as well as 100-petabyte storage density for massive datasets.

The report sees U.S. supercomputing spending contracting, with Europe and especially China gaining in the global exascale race.

From IEEE Spectrum
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