A group led by the government of the United States is working with the manufacturer Intel and Cray to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 to conduct nuclear weapons and other investigations, officials said Monday.
The Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago said they are working on a supercomputer called Aurora, with Intel, the world’s largest provider of data center chips, and Cray, which specializes in ultra-fast machines.
The $ 500 million contract for the project requires companies to deliver a computer with the so-called exaflop performance, that is, they can perform 1 quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) of calculations per second.
If the project is successful, Aurora would represent a breakthrough on existing machines that have the so-called petaflop performance, capable of making 1 quadrillion calculations per second.
The United States, China, the European Union and Japan have announced plans to build supercomputers with exaflop capability.
One of Aurora’s main functions would be to simulate nuclear explosions, a pillar of weapons development since the ban on live detonation trials.
Aurora will be built with artificial intelligence capabilities for projects such as developing better battery materials and helping the Department of Veterans Affairs prevent suicides, said Rick Stevens, associate director of the Argonne lab that oversees the nationwide computing project.
The project is a victory for Intel, which will supply its Xeon CPU and Optane memory microprocessors for Aurora.
Intel has been defending itself from the increase in the chip content of the supercomputers of Nvidia Corp., a US manufacturer, as the machines assume more artificial intelligence work. Nvidia’s microprocessors are found in five of the 10 best supercomputers in the world today.
The world’s most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains microprocessors from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.
The source of chips for supercomputers has become a factor in the commercial tensions between the United States and China. The third fastest supercomputer in the world, the Sunway TaihuLight in China, has microprocessors developed in China.
30 years of the World Wide Web
GENEVA – –
At 30 years of age, the Internet faces growing problems such as hate speech, privacy and hacking sponsored by the state, says its creator.
Tim Berners-Lee joined a celebration of the Web on Tuesday and recalled his invention at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, beginning with a proposal published on March 12, 1989. He opened the way to a technological revolution that It has transformed how people buy products, share ideas, obtain information and much more.
It has also become a place where technological titans collect personal data, rival governments spy on and seek to sneak into elections, and hate speech has thrived, taking the Web away from its roots as a space for collaborating minds. towards progress.
By the end of 2018, half of the world was online.
At the “Web @ 30” conference at CERN, Berners-Lee said that his World Wide Web Foundation wants to recruit governments, businesses and citizens to take on a more important role in configuring the network for the good according to the principles established in his “Contract for the web”.
Under the contract, governments must ensure that everyone can connect to the Internet, keep it available and respect privacy. Companies must make the Internet affordable, respect privacy and develop technology that puts people, and the “public good,” first. Citizens must create, cooperate and respect the “civil discourse”, among other things.
Berners-Lee warned that it is important to strike a balance between supervision and freedom, but it is difficult to agree on what should be.
The conference, which brought together Internet and technology experts, also gave CERN the opportunity to showcase its reputation as an open source ideas incubator. Berners-Lee worked there in the late 1980s and was determined to help close the communication and documentation gaps between the different computing platforms.
As a young software engineer in English at CERN, Berners-Lee, who is now 63, had the idea of a hypertext transfer protocol, the “http” that adorns web addresses, and other basic components for the web.
Berners-Lee has since become a kind of father figure to the Internet community, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth and has been named one of the 100 most important people of the twentieth century by Time magazine.