Alexander: Next Generation “Exascale” Supercomputers will be “Beyond Speed of any Supercomputer in the World”

Posted on March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2018 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the unanimous approval of the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act – which includes provisions from Alexander’s Exascale Computing for Science, Competitiveness, Advanced Manufacturing, Leadership, and the Economy Act of 2015 – in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee re-affirms Congress’ support for the Department of Energy’s plans to build the next generation of the world’s fastest supercomputers – known as “exascale” – which are essential to our national security and American competitiveness.

“The Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act authorizes the Department of Energy to continue with plans to build the world’s fastest supercomputers, which are essential to national security and American competitiveness and would create good-paying jobs. Supercomputing has helped maintain our nuclear stockpile, enabled manufacturers to make better products and save money and even allowed scientists to map the human heart at one beat per second,” Alexander said. “The United States faces a choice between falling further behind competitors like China, or developing new technology that can make the United States safer and more competitive in a global, 21st century economy.”

In 2015, Alexander introduced the Exascale Computing for Science, Competitiveness, Advanced Manufacturing, Leadership, and the Economy Act of 2015. Provisions from this bill are included in the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act.

The Exascale Computing for Science, Competitiveness, Advanced Manufacturing, Leadership, and the Economy Act of 2015 would create research partnerships between industry, universities and U.S. Department of Energy’s national labs to research and develop at least two exascale supercomputer architectures, with the goal of having a fully operational computer system reach “exascale” -  far beyond the speed of any current system in the world.

Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act. The legislation was agreed to by voice vote in the House of Representatives on January 24, 2017. 

Alexander’s Exascale Computing for Science, Competitiveness, Advanced Manufacturing, Leadership, and the Economy Act of 2015 is also included in the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, which was introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) in July 2017.

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