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Ut Professor Leads World Effort in Developing Next Generation of Supercomputers


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University of Tennessee, Knoxville professor Jack Dongarra

"Supercomputers . . . make fundamental contributions to the economy and the competitiveness in engineering and manufacturing," says Jack Dongarra, distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Credit: Knownews.com

University of Tennessee, Knoxville professor Jack Dongarra says that supercomputers need to be taken to the exascale level to solve problems in the economy, engineering, and manufacturing. The speed of the fastest supercomputers currently in use is measured in petaflops, but exascale is three orders of magnitude higher than a petaflop.

"It's not the technology that's drawing us to exascale. The technology can take us there and that's the good news, but it's really the science that's the driver, in some sense," Dongarra says. "These science applications have stepped up and said, 'In order for us to do the kinds of problems that we can't do today—in order for us to do them in the future—we need exascale computing.' "

View a video in which distinguished professor Dongarra describes the need for exascale computers.

Dongarra is leading an international effort to achieve exascale computing technology, and many of the researchers contributing to the exascale movement have abandoned their own personal projects to reach the new standard. "We have to have the techniques and software to effectively use these machines on the challenging science problems of the day," he says. Exascale computing will be crucial for science, national security, and the economy, according to Dongarra. The researchers are confident they can achieve exascale-level technologies by 2020.

From Tennessee Today
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