Increasingly, stakeholders across the public and private spheres are recognizing high-performance computing’s role as an essential competitive tool for the 21st century. The launch of the National Strategic Computing Initiative was a significant auger of HPC’s wider embrace. Together with the proliferation of HPC, the rise of China as a competitive supercomputing power could do what decades of HPC ROI reports haven’t: stir sufficient political will to unlock serious investment dollars.
Yesterday, United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) reaffirmed his position as a strong supporter of US supercomputing efforts during a hearing held with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
This excerpt from his full statement was reported in the Chattanoogan.
The United States faces a choice between falling further behind competitors like China, or advancing technologies that can make us safer and more competitive.
But we have to be fiscally responsible and carefully invest our limited resources in programs that can achieve results.
For example, supercomputing is one priority we agree on – and it is critical to our economic competitiveness and a secure energy future.
By next year, the world’s fastest supercomputer will again be in the United States, and in Tennessee through the joint Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore (CORAL).
That computer will be called Summit, and it will help researchers better understand materials, nuclear power, and energy breakthroughs.
Funding the next generation, known as exascale, is essential to our both our country’s competitiveness and national security.
Exascale computers will be capable of a thousand-fold increase in sustained performance over today’s petascale computers – which have been operating since 2008.
For full disclosure, Lamar also said that Obama’s budget “is at best unhelpful and at worst…misleading.” It says a lot about the case for supercomputing and the economic and strategic factors at play if such deeply divided houses can find common ground.
Senator Lamar has been active in his support for targeted supercomputing investments. The leader of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development cosponsored the American Super Computing Leadership Act (H.R. 874) and introduced Energy Title of America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 1398).