US military’s ‘quintillion’ calculations per second computer on the anvil

August 11th, 2010 - 2:30 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 11 (ANI): The US military is set to come up with a high-end computer that can perform quintillion calculations per second.

According to the short scale of large number naming systems, a quintillion is equal to ten to the power of eighteen.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has awarded the first grants to firms it wants to build so-called exascale computers.

This computer will be far more powerful than current top supercomputers that manage just over one petaflop - 1000 trillion calculations per second, reports BBC News.

Darpa expects the first prototypes to be working by 2018.

Darpa said its research project was needed to help analyse the tidal wave of data that military systems and sensors are expected to produce.

The project, dubbed the Ubiquitous High Performance Computing (UHPC) program, would try to create hardware that “overcomes the limitations of current evolutionary approach.”

The current approach is characterised by Moore’s Law, but it has drawbacks such as mushrooming power, management and structural issues that crop up as components shrink.

The new project is looking to “develop radically new computer architectures and programming models that are 100 to 1,000 times more energy efficient, with higher performance, and that are easier to program than current systems,” the agency in a statement. (ANI)

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