Whether an organisation is purchasing HPC power for science & research or for commercially driven motives, it’s essential to keep adopting the latest technological solutions to meet those bigger challenges I mentioned in Part 1 of my HPC predictions blog.
The push toward Exascale is always quite exciting – the industry utopia for power and performance – but sadly, it isn’t going any faster today than it did 12 months ago because it depends on having millions upon millions of compute cores – the cost and heat output is prohibitive. Right now, realistically, we only have x86 servers and GPU and Phi accelerator technology; it’s not enough to help us get across the line.
But, there have been two notable global developments on the Exascale front in the past few months, which could make this change rapidly. The US Government has set a date of 2023 for its first Exascale supercomputer – although a lot could change politically before that is reached!
Notably, the system is planning to use the IBM Power Chip. Japan also recently completed its Exascale feasibility study, started in 2012, which provides design specifications to support the creation of a high-end computing system by 2018. Although, I’ve seen some commentators suggest 2020 is more likely.