U.S. history as supercomputing innovator threatened
America has a history of supercomputing breakthroughs, but that history is being threatened by several foreign countries, according to a statement released by U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and three other lawmakers today.
"China in particular has defined a national plan to achieve and maintain global leadership in supercomputing innovation," the statement said. "The fastest supercomputer in the world, according to the Linpack benchmarks, is currently housed in China’s National University of Defense Technology. Japan, meanwhile, has launched a government-funded supercomputing program, while Russia, India and several European countries are also prioritizing advancement of this technology."
Hultgren, along with Reps. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), said the solution is the bipartisan American Super Computing Leadership Act, which will jump-start research in supercomputing industries in the U.S. Similar legislation also has been introduced in the Senate.
"This field of innovation is not a partisan issue," the statement read. "It is an American issue, one that has support in both houses of Congress... ."
In addition to approving the American Super Computing Leadership Act, the lawmakers called on Congress to fund the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Scientific Computing Research program. The program deals with exascale computing, which uses processing speeds approaching that of the human brain to analyze massive amounts of data.
"Congressional support is critical to sustaining America’s leading role in solving humanity’s greatest challenges," the statement said. "Now, with big data holding the potential of untold breakthroughs, we cannot afford to fall behind other nations in the race to innovate. In the supercomputing race, America cannot afford to come in second."