US President Barack Obama has announced plans to build the world’s fastest and most powerful “super computer” by 2025. This isn’t just any smoke and mirrors, either, as Obama signed an Executive Order to take the initial steps towards building this behemoth of a computer. But what exactly is the purpose of this super computer? And why is President Obama concerned with building it?
According to the BBC, the super computer which the US hopes to build would be approximately 20 times faster than the world’s current fastest computer. China currently holds the world’s fastest super computer, which may provide insight into the US’ decision to build a faster computer.
Details remain largely unknown at this time, but the BBC claims that the new US super computer – if successfully constructed – would be capable of performing one quintillion calculations per second, or in other words, a billion billion. You don’t have to be an Informations Technology expert to realize that is a HUGE amount of calculations.
So, what’s driving the US to build the world’s fastest super computer? In a press release, the White House said it will move the federal government into a position that streamlines and sharpens 21st century applications.
“Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) to ensure the United States continues leading in this field over the coming decades,” wrote the White House in a press release announcing the news. “This coordinated research, development, and deployment strategy will draw on the strengths of departments and agencies to move the Federal government into a position that sharpens, develops, and streamlines a wide range of new 21st century applications. “
Some people have a different theory on why the US is building a super computer. It’s no secret that US and China have been going back and forth with cyber warfare. Earlier this year, the US pointed the finger at a group of China-backed hackers, alleging they were behind the attack on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which resulted in the disclosure of millions of files.
If the US were to build such a massive super computer, it would certainly prove useful in detecting and preventing cyber intrusions. Whether or not it would be used for actual attacks, though, is up for discussion. Even if the US successfully builds this computer, though, it won’t be completed until 2025 at the earliest.