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Intelligence Agency Wants an Even More Super Supercomputer

NextGov.com (12/03/14) Frank Konkel

A new computer program of the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) could fundamentally change the field of supercomputing. The Cryogenic Computer Complexity (C3) program will use recent breakthroughs in superconducting technologies to find a long-term successor to complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology-based machines, which are becoming unmanageable. “Computers based on superconducting logic integrated with new kinds of cryogenic memory will allow expansion of current computing facilities while staying within space and energy budgets, and may enable supercomputer development beyond the exascale,” says IARPA’s Marc Manheimer. IARPA has awarded research contracts to teams led by IBM, Raytheon-BBN, and Northrop Grumman. C3 will develop critical components for memory and logic subsystems and plan a prototype computer. The goal is to integrate the components into the world’s first superconducting supercomputer. The machine would be smaller, require less physical infrastructure to cool, and would have a smaller energy footprint than current supercomputers.

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