By Timothy Prickett Morgan
With the supercomputing community in the Western economies freaking out just a little bit that China has come out of nowhere to take the lead in supercomputing, and the US supposedly getting ready to allocate $5bn in an effort to push up into the exacale realm, IDC could not find a better week to deliver its report to the European Commission about how it needs to spend lots of money to remain a player in the HPC arms race to exaflops-level sustained performance.
In February, as El Reg reported, the HPC analysts at IDC were tapped by the European Commission to work with some of the biggest supercomputing labs in Europe to rationalize and coordinate the move from petascale to exascale computing. IDC was commissioned by the Commission to work with Teratec in France, Daresbury Laboratory in the United Kingdom. and Leibniz-Rechenzentrum and Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany to create a “strategic agenda” for HPC projects in Europe.
The 94-page report states all of the obvious facts about how supercomputers are important to defense, meteorology, medicine, manufacturing, and other endeavors, and that the European collective cannot afford to fall behind the United States, Japan, or China when it comes to developing ever-faster supercomputers and, more importantly, the applications that make as much use of the hardware as possible to solve real problems, and not just do matrix math in Fortran for bragging rights every six months.