The Department of Energy (DOE) is building at least two new supercomputers to handle massive amounts of information involved in research such as on nuclear security and a cure for cancer.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced a Request for Proposals, an open invitation for companies to submit bids for the project, Monday with a payout as high as $1.8 billion, according to a DOE press release.
“These new systems represent the next generation in supercomputing and will be critical tools both for our nation’s scientists and for U.S. industry,” Perry said. “They will help ensure America’s continued leadership in the vital area of high performance computing, which is an essential element of our national security, prosperity, and competitiveness as a nation.”
The supercomputers will be capable of computing on the exascale, or able to make a quintillion — a one followed by eighteen zeros — calculations each second. When built, they will be a pair of the most powerful computers in existence and be 50 to 100 times faster than the current fastest computer in the U.S.
The computers will be placed at national laboratories in Tennessee and California. The project builds on a previous authorization by Perry to build an exascale supercomputer for Argonne National Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
All three exascale supercomputers, the first in the U.S., are expected to come online sometime between 2021 and 2023.
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