back to article US fears China may have ten exascale systems by 2025

The US is racing to catch up with China in supercomputing performance amid fears that the country may widen its lead in exascale computers over the next decade, according to reports. The Frontier supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is expected to be the first exascale system in the US once it is fully operational, …

  1. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "What is at stake here is not just national pride, because supercomputers provide the raw calculating power required for simulation of nuclear physics used for atomic weapons"

    The early atomic weapons were developed without supercomputers and they seem pretty effective, and considering China already has over 350 nuclear weapons already so how does getting more supercomputers make much different in that context? I am sure 350 nuclear bombs would still be enough to wipe out all the major western cities should they choose launch an attack.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      As a citizen of the US

      I will feel zero additional pride if the US leads the world in computers able to simulate atomic bombs, nor will I feel any angst if China does.

      I see no reason why I should care if the US improves upon the nukes we already have, which are far in excess of what is "needed". I definitely don't want to see any improvements that make them more "useful" in terms of choosing yield, blast patterns, or anything else that might make anyone feel like they are a more valid option than older "cruder" nukes were!

      The supercomputers funded by the DOE are mainly for that purpose, so Intel causing that to be delayed is not a problem in my book. There are plenty of smaller supercomputers owned by universities and big corporations that do far more important work, but don't get the headlines because they aren't "exascale".

    2. Mike Richards

      Part of the demand for high performance simulation is to predict the behaviour of ageing warheads without needing to test them - something that is currently banned by Treaty.

      The US has a project called the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program which conducts laboratory tests of nuclear materials, the electronics in warheads and the explosives themselves which are all fed into the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program run out of Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Simulation_and_Computing_Program

    3. RichardEM

      other things it could do

      That kind of computer power could be used for many things. Designing aircraft, ships, new mettalic compounds, evaluating new type of batteries, comparing the capabilities of space craft

      1. Clausewitz4.0
        Devil

        Re: other things it could do

        ...And breaking encryption keys...

      2. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge
        Holmes

        Re: other things it could do

        None of the things you've listed require use of super-duper computers to achieve. Plain old human thinking is what's required.

    4. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

      Isn't the list of Top 500 supercomputers showing only those that are publicly known?

      As I understood last time, there were always rumours that US government had faster systems that were not listed due to security issues (for all we know CIA and company already have exascale or multi exascale systems running).

      Assuming that is still true, US may already have exascale computers, but are not known publicly. And you can't exactly request China make public all the supercomputers and specs, since they too presumably don't want to publicise too many things due to security.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "declined to make public any [..] figures that would demonstrate their true performance level"

    And why would China make figures public ?

    Much better to keep everybody guessing.

    1. Xalran
      Devil

      Re: "declined to make public any [..] figures that would demonstrate their true performance level"

      Well, they could have used Trumped up numbers like for the early days of the COVID.

  3. cornetman Silver badge

    If the US are that fearful, then perhaps they could stump up a bit of money to buy some. Christ, it's not like it would make much of a dent in the federal budget in the face of everything else that's going on. It would be a rounding error in their military budget.

  4. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Meaningless race

    This reminds me of the supercar horsepower race. The ability to claim the most horsepower never did much to advance automotive engineering. It was all about whether you have more that a thousand of them.

    Exa scale is also a meaningless number chosen because of humans' (and headline writers') love of round numbers.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Meaningless race

      Its interesting, almost a work of art, to dream up faster computers. The problem isn't who's got the fastest/tallest/biggest but the way its pained as a national security issue -- apparently our (US) collective manhood is at stake and so we have to Do Something (that preferably siphons off yet more taxpayer dollars/IOUs into someone's pocket).

      All that really matters is if we have enough for our needs.

  5. StargateSg7

    Couldn't care less HOW MANY Exascale systems there are when our underground Vancouver, BC, Canada data centre is already 119 ExaFLOPS sustained at 128-bits wide at 60 GHz on GaAs Combined-CPU/GPU/DSP chips and our Northern British Columbia Data Centre has the 2 THz fully opto-electronic extended-combined CPU/GPU/DSP/Vector Array Processor GaAs super-chips which are 50 PetaFLOPS each now! We're at 128-bit YottaFLOPS with that sucker!

    We are the NUMERO UNO (aka Number One!) CPU/GPU/DSP chip, SRAM/DRAM and SSD manufacturer in the world -- our systems WAAAAAAAAY OUTCLASS every single one of the Top-500 supercomputers individually and when ALL are combined! WE WIN!

    And now we are reaping the technical innovation rewards from having exclusive access to such high-end massively parallel computing technology, which will be disclosed publicly soon enough!

    Again! We are NUMBER ONE in the world! Not China! Not USA, Not Japan! CANADA is Number One in Worldwide High Performance Supercomputing!

    V

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Joke

      @StargateSg7

      I hope you are better today.

      And to help you, I suggest you have a look at the top500.org list about super computers in the world.

      You do quite well in fact, behind China, the USA, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands but slightly ahead of the UK and South Korea with about 2.2% of the world capacity.

      https://www.top500.org/statistics/list/

      But I will still use this icon.

      1. StargateSg7

        Me thinks you MIS-READ my missive! Our "Haida Gwaii" supercomputer in Vancouver is 119 ExaFLOPS sustained at 128 bits wide which waaaaaaaaaaaay outclasses everything else on the T500 list except our Northern BC Data Centre which is split into two systems now named "Thunderhorse" and "DragonSlayer".

        The super-processors those two Northern BC systems use are now fully opto-electronic 2 THz 50 PetaFLOPs on each chip with now 20 Million CPUs installed or 1,000,000,000‬ PetaFLOPS or over a YottaFLOP. When fully scaled out, we will have HUNDREDS of YottaFLOPS. (i.e. we are at 20 million square feet of space inside of a mountain and getting larger next year!)

        The "Haida Gwaii" system in Vancouver has 262,144 processors (2^17th) of high current GaAs chips at around 40 Megawatts at full load (150 watts per chip) --- The opto-chips are a fraction of that wattage per chip which is WHY we can run 20 million of them at only 8 watts each! (160 megawatts total)

        For sucking all that heat away from the super-chips, we use Silicone Oil Direct Immersion Cooling which transports and dumps all that heat into very large underground fresh water swimming pools which our employees use daily as part of their rest and recreation at the Northern BC site and at our Vancouver site. We try to prevent heat-island effects so the pools then emit heat via churned water surface to air convection and is also circulated into the surrounding deeper rock via metal tubes drilled and buried into the rock itself.

        We are running full electro-chemical simulations (K, P, Na, Ca gating/uptake) of synthetic neurons that self-organize using physics-based rules at the molecular level. Basically, a WBE (Whole Brain Emulation) --- It works very well I should add!

        Again, our systems are the most powerful in the world and we are also the world's LARGEST manufacturer of CPU/GPU/DSP chips and the largest manufacturer of SRAM and DRAM chips and also the LARGEST manufacturer of SSD drives in the world! We obliterate Intel, AMD, Samsung, NEC, Micron, IBM, Global Foundries, TSMC, etc. in terms of total chips manufactured and in terms of their total rated computational horsepower!

        We are Numero Uno In The World --- Number One --- We Win !!!

        YAY Canada !!!!

        V

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          @ StargateSg7

          Did you forget to take your pills again?

          In one of your earlier posts, you say you are just a graphics programmer, so what qualifies you to make the above outrageous statements?

          > We (Who?) obliterate Intel, AMD, Samsung, NEC, Micron, IBM, Global Foundries, TSMC, etc.

          See icon.

          Where are your academic publications? Your other post mentioned some GPL-licensed predictions of high temperature superconductors, so where is the public repo?

          1. StargateSg7

            Re: @ StargateSg7

            I will start here ....

            North Canadian Aerospace:

            Scandium Image Sensing Inventions Open Source Disclosure Under GPL3 Aug 23 2021:

            https://www.scribd.com/document/521464736/Scandium-Image-Sensing-Inventions-Open-Source-Disclosure-Under-GPL3-Aug-23-2021

            My specific expertise is real-time hardware-accelerated 2D-XY and 3D-XYZ SOBEL/CANNY edge detection programming and bitmap-to-vector object conversion algorithms. I have also done a bit of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) development which makes me VERY DANGEROUS in the GPU and DSP portion of the 128-bits wide GaAs super-chip design team which I was part of.

            My main project is a 10,000 fps 64-bits per pixel RGBA/YCbCrA/HSLA real-time bitmap-to-vector convertor AND AUTONOMOUS FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM that runs on NORMAL GAMING GPU CARDS and our new Super-SOC-Chips.

            It now gets up to 65,535 recognized and tracked objects per second per DCI 4K (4094 by 2160 pixels) or DCI 8K (8192 by 4320 pixels) frame via an internal database of 200,000 objects that contains 2D-XY and 3D-XY vector references to terrain, cars, trucks, ships, aircraft, weapon systems, ordnance, buildings, iconic structures, etc. so I can do treetop flying fully autonomously using only Synthetic Vision input from LIDAR, RADAR, Optical, Infrared, UV, RF/MM-wave and even X-Ray/Gamma Ray sensors .....AND....... it also does auto-tracking, auto-targeting and fire-control using that fancy 160,000 kmh (100,000 mph) B747/A380/C5A aircraft installable railgun of ours which fires two metre long Rods-from-God (Ceramic and Tungsten coated ferrous metal aka high Carbon Steel darts) at whatever target we want!

            It can also Auto-Take-off, Auto-Fly and Auto-Land our 148,000 lbs SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) dark black triangular aerospace craft all by itself up to and from way past the ISS! (i.e. GeoSync orbit and beyond!)

            Does THAT answer your questions about what we do?

            V

          2. StargateSg7

            Re: @ StargateSg7

            In case anyone's wondering, his reply is referencing this post of mine made quite a while back:

            ---

            ORIGINAL POST:

            Anybody wanna check these two chemical formulae out?

            They came from our A.I. saying it might be something actually

            called OR be close to a Room Temperature Superconductor:

            Y GaBa3 Cu3O7 Fe3Al2 Si3O12 (with Gallium Baride aka Barium)

            ...AND...

            Y Ga3B14 Cu3O7 Fe3Al2 Si3O12 (with Gallium Boride aka Boron)

            Some materials egghead M.Sc or PH.D should take a gander at it!

            I'm just a graphics programmer and NOT a metallurgist or ceramics expert.

            P.S. All the above formulae as of January 1st, 2022 are completely FREE AND OPEN SOURCE

            UNDER GPL-3 Licence Terms for Hardware, Software, Designs, Formulae, Materials and Systems.

            ---

            One of our exploratory "Material Sciences Expert Systems" using those fancy SOC super-chips we have did a PDF documents traverse on Room Temperature superconductor research and did some basic molecular bonds calculations and electrical current conduction data mining to come up with TWO POTENTIAL formulae for actual 20 degrees Celcius or more room temperature superconductor ceramic-like materials.

            I can't make a comment on the above formulae as I am NOT a materials scientist, nor am I chemist BUT the Rules-based Expert System (i.e. it is NOT a neural net!) found something to look further into in terms of a confluence of conductivity and easy-manufacturability.

            Someone who is familiar with such conductive ceramic materials research SHOULD take a further look!

            Anyways it's NOW OPEN SOURCE under GPL-3 licence terms!

            Experiment Away!

            V

      2. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge

        I think it was a joke

        Lars, I think you are taking StargateSg7 too seriously. He/she/they didn't use the "Joke Alert" icon, but I think that post was joking, nonetheless.

        1. StargateSg7

          Re: I think it was a joke

          Actually ........... NOPE! It ain't a joke! We really DO HAVE a 128-bits-wide 60 GHz clock speed GaAs at 119 ExaFLOP Supercomputer called "Haida Gwaii" hidden underground in an East Vancouver neighbourhood for the last 8 years now!

          We really DO HAVE a YottaFLOP+ set of ultracomputers called "ThunderHorse" and "DragonSlayer" hidden inside of a mountain in the far north of British Columbia that are running fully opto-electronic GaAs 128-bits wide at 2 THz clock speed (50 PetaFLOPS per 3D Multi-Layer Stacked Combined CPU/GPU/DSP/Vector Array processor Super-Chip!). The facility really is 20 MILLION SQUARE FEET (1,858,061 square metres!) and getting larger as we scale out to many tens of YottaFLOPS.

          And YES we really ARE the world's LARGEST manufacturer of CPUs, SRAM/DRAM and SSD devices!

          Also we really ARE running a full WBE (Whole Brain Emulation) simulating the physics-based electro-chemical processes of all kinds of human neural tissue at the molecular scale. We have had CONSIDERABLE SUCCESS in creating a set of multiple synthetic 160-IQ Ph.D-level research scientists that work and collaborate 24/7/365 on various technical subjects we proscribe.

          Are they MORE intelligent than humans? Absolutely! They surpass almost every human alive in every major subject matter and discipline relating to sciences, biology, psychology, sociology, medicine, arts, philosophy, music, religion and even trivia!

          Are they Conscious? Answer: We're not sure! We humans simply can't tell the difference as all they pass a natural language Turing Test during multiple long-duration normal human conversations.

          We are a completely under-the-radar all-Canadian Aerospace company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada! You have NEVER heard of us and only a few privileged people have see or used our supercomputing facilities.

          V

    2. bigphil9009

      "disclosed publicly soon enough".

      Yawn, yawn, yawn. Don't you ever get bored of writing the same old lies? What a way to spend your day.

  6. SUDO-SU

    I think supercomputing goes far beyond simpley more powerful nuclear weapons. This could lead to something beyond hyper warfare. Imagine weapons systems that can reach targets so quickly that a human intervention would mean that the threat could not be stopped. And then you rely on ai systems taking in info and auto deploying countermeasures and counterattacks. It's a new arms races beyond what we've seen before.

    1. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge

      uses of supercomputers

      Anything "could" lead to anything, but that doesn't mean it will.

      Instead of future warfare modes, I'd prefer to imagine a warm, sandy beach, myself on a lounge chair with a supply of tasty eatables and drinkables nearby, surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women researching new ways of doing nice things to me.

      If a supercomputer can make that a reality, then I'm all for supercomputers.

  7. msobkow Silver badge

    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you just do things instead of spending years in a courtroom bickering about who won and lost a bid on a contract...

  8. IGotOut Silver badge

    Yup...

    "but also for discovery of new materials and to drive engineering breakthroughs."

    Remind me again how graphine was discovered.?

    1. AlgernonFlowers4
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Yup...Graphene Innit!

      Graphene has been produced in small quantities for centuries, ever since Pencils were used to draw graphs!

  9. Xalran

    super computers have other ( and more useful ) uses beside making sure nuclear bombs will go boom the approriate way.

    let's see :

    - particle physics ( as any CERN Boffin )

    - weather forecast ( and the tied climate change thingie )

    - astrophysics

    and more.

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