Obama Wants the US to Build the World’s Fastest Supercomputer | WIRED


President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton applaud during the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps national service program on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has signed an executive order authorizing the creation of new supercomputing research initiative called the National Strategic Computing Initiative, or NSCI. Its goal: pave the way for the first exaflop supercomputer—something that’s about 30 times faster than today’s fastest machines.

Supercomputers are at the heart of a huge number of important scientific and defense research projects. They’re used by aerospace engineers to model planes and weapons, and by climatologists to predict the the near-term impact of hurricanes and the long-term effects of climate change. Researchers involved in the White House’s Precision Medicine initiative believe exaflop speed supercomputers could aid the creation of personalized drugs, while the European Commission’s Human Brain Project hopes they will help unlock the secrets of the human brain.

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