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A Modest Proposal for Petascale Computing

February 8, 2008

In an editorial in the February 8 issue of HPCwire titled “A Modest Proposal for Petascale Computing,” editor Michael Feldman writes:

In typical forward-thinking California fashion, the folks at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) are already looking beyond single petaflop systems, even before a single one has been released into the wild. LBNL researchers have started to explore what a multi-petaflop computer architecture might look like. Even ignoring the challenge of software concurrency, they point out that power and system costs will determine how such machines can be built....

At last year's SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, LBNL researchers Lenny Oliker, John Shalf, [and] Michael Wehner authored a presentation about what kind of supercomputer would be required for a climate modeling system with kilometer-scale fidelity.

Feldman describes this research as a “paradigm shift [in] thinking about supercomputers as appliances rather than as general-purpose computers.” The complete HPCwire article can be read here.