How Exascale Computing Will Impact Our Lives, Our World
It's hard to imagine how a billion billion (i.e. a quintillion) calculations per second and beyond will affect the way we live and work, but such performance will bring new capabilities for a new set of workloads in research institutions and the enterprise. Translated, exascale computing is expected to solve problems previously out of reach with advances in new energy solutions, healthcare, weather prediction, materials science, and so much more.
But why do we need that much compute? A key driver is the tsunami of data being created. By 2025, IDC predicts that worldwide, data will grow to 175 zettabytes, and turning this data into actionable insights—using combinations of modeling, simulation, data analytics, IoT devices, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI)—will be critical. Actionable insights drive business. In fact, 97 percent of private-sector firms that have adopted high-performance computing say they can no longer compete or survive without it, according to Hyperion Research.
One thing's for certain: The breakthroughs expected to be made possible by exascale computing will be breathtaking.
Reaching new heights
The first wave of exascale applications can be found at the Exascale Computing Project (ECP). But as you start to imagine exascale computing's potential, consider how high-performance computing has already changed the world in powerful ways. Here's a short list.
It takes more than $2.5 billion and 15 years on average to develop a new drug. But some people say there's a way to cut costs and speed that up: use AI, cloud computing, IoT, high-powered computing, and big data.
Medical research has become a big data computational problem. One example: Memory-Driven Computing is tackling neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. Supercomputing can push forward diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Learn how rapid gene sequencing is on the verge of making medical treatment dramatically more personalized and potentially more effective.
Deep learning is helping organizations identify patterns in massive data sets, and because learning can be supervised, scientists can extract critical insights without exhausting IT resources.
Exascale provides the computational resources to do very, very large-scale regional motion simulations.
Next-generation agriculture requires immense computing power. Learn how supercomputing and bioinformatics will help scientists adapt agricultural practices to feed 9 billion people.
Improving quality of life
Here's a look at how genome sequencing works, the computing techniques that make it possible, and the impact it is expected to have on human health.
Pollution reduction and urban planning
Cities use emerging smart technologies and more efficient processes to make themselves more attractive places to live.
New energy solutions
Read about research for safe, small-sized nuclear plants that generate clean energy for individual neighborhoods.