This act would authorize the development of more powerful computing systems for advanced scientific and engineering research.
Specifically, the Department of Energy (DOE) would create an “exascale computing system.” Exascale systems would increase a computer's processing power one thousandfold (compared to current petascale computers). For context, this is level of computer processing that is close to the level of neural activity in the human brain.
To create this system, the Secretary of Energy would:
- Coordinate the creation of an advanced computing system for the DOE, used to integrate research and development projects.
- Partner with universities and labs dedicated to scientific, medical and industrial research, as well as integrate research between DOE labs.
- Conduct research into technologies that reduce power needs for computers, and that improve memory, storage space, and bandwidth.
- Co-design activities to advance exascale computing platforms. In plain English, this means developing the algorithms, codes and computer technology that would form the body of an exascale system.
- Green light any software or hardware upgrades needed to produce a practical exascale system.
- Write a plan for Congress before beginning the first phase of the project. This should include cost projections, technical challenges, and an assessment of the scientific advancements that can be expected from investing in an exascale system.