Darpa Awards Could Speed Supercomputers - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hardware & Infrastructure

Darpa Awards Could Speed Supercomputers

Cray, IBM, and Sun try to restore U.S. lead in high-performance computing

Cray, IBM, and Sun Microsystems last week received more than $146 million in Defense Department funding to develop a new generation of supercomputers that could boost performance and ease costs for government agencies and businesses by the end of the decade.

The awards, part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's High Productivity Computing Systems program, follow roughly $15 million in funding last year and narrow to three the number of companies competing to build a generation of systems that can restore the United States' lead in high-performance computing for national security and industrial applications. Hewlett-Packard and Silicon Graphics Inc. submitted designs during a first round of research and development, but didn't make the cut.

Darpa has been pushing systems vendors to build supercomputers that can sustain more of their top performance over time, are easier to program, and can provide a bridge between today's massively parallel supercomputers and the promise of quantum computing. The effort could yield large systems that are easier to program on a tight schedule, says Scott Studham, technical group lead at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a subcontractor for HP's proposal. "We're really looking forward to having access" to the systems.

IBM received $53.3 million to develop its Percs project (productive, easy-to-use, reliable computing systems), which includes new chip, operating system, and compiler technologies. Darpa gave Sun $49.7 million to work on a project that combines a simplified architecture and programming tools to increase user productivity, accuracy, and security. Cray, through its New Technology Endeavors subsidiary, got $43.1 million to develop Cascade, a supercomputer architecture.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Augmented Analytics Drives Next Wave of AI, Machine Learning, BI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/19/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll