Intel Forms Subsidiary for Federal Supercomputing - InformationWeek
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8/31/2011
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Intel Forms Subsidiary for Federal Supercomputing

Intel Federal LLC will work with the Department of Energy and other agencies on innovations in high-performance computing.

Intel has formed a new subsidiary exclusively focused on working with the federal government on innovations and opportunities in supercomputing.

Intel Federal LLC initially will work with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies that currently focus on the high-performance computing (HPC) segment, according to the company. Eventually, the subsidiary will be open to working with all branches of the government.

Dave Patterson will serve as president of the spinoff company, which will have offices in Oregon, California, and the Washington, D.C. area. Patterson most recently served as president and CEO of Optelecom-NKF Inc., a supplier of video surveillance systems. He also has experience in the federal sector from a previous position as president and CEO of Siemens Government Services.

Patterson will report directly to Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter and Connected Systems Group.

In a press statement, Skaugen said Intel hopes the subsidiary can help the government and HPC researchers achieve the goal of "supercomputer performance levels of a hundred times more powerful than today by 2018."

"An ExaFlop supercomputer's performance is the equivalent of every person on Earth making about 150 million calculations per second," he said. "We look forward to collaborating more closely with the U.S. government on future supercomputing challenges."

The most powerful supercomputers in the world today--five of the top 10 being run by the federal government, according to the most recent biannual ranking--currently operate at petaflop scale. "Flop" stands for floating point operations per second, and a petaflop computer can perform a thousand trillion flops.

The DOE's Cray supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory--known as "Jaguar"--is the most powerful of those operated by the federal government, operating at 1.75 petaflops per second. It ranked third on the list of the top 500 supercomputers. Other agencies that run powerful supercomputers include NASA and the Department of Defense.

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