supercomputers

April 9, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
The U.S. Department of Energy has released a request for proposals for at least two next-generation exascale supercomputers. Credit: dlohner/Pixabay

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry today announced a request for proposals potentially worth up to $1.8 billion for the development of at least two new exascale supercomputers, to be deployed at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories in the 2021-2023 timeframe. Among other benefits, the systems will help nuclear security, a major piece of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

January 26, 2018
By George I. Seffers
A new superconducting synapse developed by NIST researchers could mark a major step forward for neuromorphic computing, a form of artificial intelligence. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a superconducting switch that learns like a biological system and could connect processors and store memories in future computers, NIST officials intend to announce today. The switch in some ways outperforms the human brain that inspired it and offers a wide range of benefits for medical diagnoses, smart cars and intelligence analysis.

The NIST switch is called a synapse, after its biological counterpart, and it supplies a missing piece for neuromorphic computers. Envisioned as a new type of artificial intelligence, such computers could boost machine perception and decision making.

June 27, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
The TrueNorth chip has the equivalent of 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses in a form of a postage stamp.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and IBM are collaborating on a brain-inspired supercomputing system powered by a 64-chip array. The laboratory is investigating applications for the system in embedded, mobile, autonomous settings where limiting factors today include size, weight and power.

As an end-to-end software ecosystem, the scalable platform would enable deep neural-network learning and information discovery. Its advanced pattern recognition and sensory processing power would be the equivalent of 64 million neurons and 16 billion synapses; however, the processor component only will consume approximately 10 watts, the equivalent of a dim light bulb.

December 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Marine Corps corporal fires a GAU-17/A gun during a Valiant Shield exercise over Farallon de Medinilla, Northern Mariana Islands. Machine-learning software may help predict which warfighters will be best suited for specific missions.

Researchers are developing an open source machine-learning framework that allows a distributed network of computers to process vast amounts of data as efficiently and effectively as supercomputers and to better predict behaviors or relationships. The technology has a broad range of potential applications, including commercial, medical and military uses.

Anyone who needs to analyze a few trillion datasets can use a supercomputer or distribute the problem among processors on a large network. The former option is not widely available, and the latter can be complicated. 

December 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Each circle represents the two electrons of a pair that exist at relatively low energy and can carry electrical current with no resistance in a high-temperature superconductor. Software tools being developed at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will make designing circuits using superconducting technologies easier and cheaper.

Researchers for the U.S. intelligence community intend to build software applications that will make it easier to design and develop superconducting networks to power future supercomputers capable of much faster processing with lower energy requirements. The tools will reduce the time and cost to design superconductor-based circuits, potentially revolutionizing the computer and electronics industry.