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Energy Dept to Build Supercomputers to Model Nuclear Explosions

Nuclear explosionCongress is asking the Energy Department to develop fresh supercomputers over the next 10 years to model nuclear weapons explosions, Nextgov reported Monday.

Bob Brewin writes that language in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act asks for exascale computers that work to perform quintillions of operations per second for weapons research and simulation tasks

William Harrod, Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee division director, told a conference in Denver the supercomputer technology is also intended to process big data sets, including climate modeling and genomics, according to the report.

The DOE awarded $62.4 million in combined contracts to AMD, IBM, Intel and NVIDIA in 2012 to develop exascale computers and another $25.4 million in the fall of 2013 to the same companies plus Cray for similar projects, Nextgov reports.

Harrod told the conference those projects include system interconnect architectures, open network protocol standards, multiple processors and energy efficient systems, the report says.

Initial operation of the computers is scheduled for 2023.

Brewin writes the House of Representatives approved the bill last week and the Senate is set to vote on the legislation this week.

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