The fastest supercomputers in the world today solve problems at the petascale—that is a quadrillion (1015) calculations each second.
While these petascale systems are quite powerful, the next milestone in computing achievement is the exascale—a higher level of performance in computing that will have profound impacts on everyday life.
At a quintillion (1018) calculations each second, exascale supercomputers will more realistically simulate the processes involved in precision medicine, regional climate, additive manufacturing, the conversion of plants to biofuels, the relationship between energy and water use, the unseen physics in materials discovery and design, the fundamental forces of the universe, and much more.
“Computational power is a vitally important tool that enables scientific discovery and assists us in finding solutions to some of our most difficult problems. The quest to achieve capable exascale computing is a quintessential technological challenge that will serve to enable a new generation of insights into such discoveries and solutions.” — Stephen Lee, ECP Deputy Director
Exascale: the Engine of Discovery
Exascale computing will have a profound impact on everyday life in the coming decades. At 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second, exascale supercomputers will be able to quickly analyze massive volumes of data and more realistically simulate the complex processes and relationships behind many of the fundamental forces of the universe.
This will have practical applications in everything from precision medicine to regional climate, water use to materials science, nuclear physics to national security. Exascale computing has the potential to drive discoveries across the spectrum of scientific fields—and to improve both our understanding of the world and how we live in it.
Learn more about the promise of Exascale and the collaborative efforts of government, academia and industry to lead the way into this new era of computing.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's David McCallen, a researcher from the Exascale Computing Project, on April 17 spoke at the 69th HPC User Forum in Tucson, Arizona, about exascale simulations for regional-scale earthquake hazard and risk.