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6 Firms to Receive $258M in DOE Exascale Supercomputer R&D Contracts

The Energy Department will award six companies three-year contracts worth $258 million in total to research and develop large-scale supercomputers.

DOE said Thursday it will issue funds through its Exascale Computing Project as part of the department’s new PathForward program that seeks to create the first exascale supercomputers for U.S. national security, manufacturing, industrial competitiveness and energy and earth sciences.

The awardees will shoulder additional funds worth at least 40 percent of their total project cost, which will bring the total investment to approximately $430 million.

“The work funded by PathForward will include development of innovative memory architectures, higher-speed interconnects, improved reliability systems, and approaches for increasing computing power without prohibitive increases in energy demand,” said ECP Director Paul Messina.

Messina added that PathForward will help address four key challenges such as parallelism, memory and storage, reliability and energy consumption.

The awardees are:

  • Advanced Micro Devices (Nasdaq: AMD)
  • Cray
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE)
  • IBM (NYSE: IBM)
  • Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)
  • NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA)

The effort seeks to develop at least one exascale system by 2021.

DOE noted exascale platforms will be at least 50 times faster than the most powerful computers in the U.S. today.

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