For now, the world is dependent on the U.S. IBM today has nearly 45% share of the systems on the Top 500 list of the world's largest systems; Hewlett-Packard has 28%, and Cray, 5.4%.
Europe is already exploring alternative technologies, including use of ARM processors by the UK-based company ARM Holdings.
"Exascale computing is a challenge, and indeed an opportunity for Europe to become a global HPC leader," said Leonardo Flores Anover, who is the European Commission's project officer for the European Exascale Software Initiative, in an email response to a query. "This can only be achieved if there is a real European policy with the EU member states."
"The EU effort is intended to support excellence in the European supply and use of HPC in all domains (for industry, science and society) that are strategic for us," said Anover. "In particular on the supply side, the goal is to foster the development of a European industrial capability," he said.
China has developed its own interconnects and processors, which it is now using in some of its HPC systems.
There are multiple efforts underway in the U.S. to develop architecture and technologies for exascale platforms. But funding for a multi-year project, which will likely cost billions of dollars is, for now, hinging on a report from the U.S. Department of Energy to Congress by Feb. 10.
This DOE report is expected to outline the reasons for an exascale initiative in the U.S., the international efforts, and the cost of achieving exascale.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov , or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com .
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