The U.S. Department of Energy recently won full Congressional funding to support the pursuit of exascale computing. House and Senate conferees agreed to provide $442 million for advanced scientific computing research, and $126 million will go toward exascale computing.
Researchers were able to move from terascale to petascale computing in about 12 years, and it will likely take that long to reach the exascale plateau. According to an Oak Ridge National Lab report, exascale computing could enable researchers to more deeply understand nanotechnology, model climate processes at very high resolutions, and simulate nuclear interactions to a level not possible today.
However, for future funding the Energy Department will need to provide Congress with an exascale computing plan. By Feb. 10, 2012, the department will need to provide a strategy that includes target dates, interim milestones, minimum requirements for an exascale system, multi-year budget estimates, breakdowns of each office and lab involved in exascale research, and a more granular budget request for 2013.
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