Today, supercomputers are often used for a variety of tasks. The computing power of modern supercomputers allow to carry out complex mathematical calculations to help in the creation of new effective drugs and even the search for extraterrestrial life. However, these applications do not cause issues, as it aimed, in fact, for the acceleration of obtaining one result or another. Only recently it became known that a group of U.S. companies developing new (and very powerful) supercomputer that will manage all nuclear capabilities. Should we start to fear?
Who develop a supercomputer to manage nuclear weapons
As the edition Еngadget, for the creation of the supercomputer meets the U.S. Department of energy (DOE) and National nuclear security administration (NNSA). Recently, these organizations announced that they have signed a contract with Cray to develop the first military supercomputer called “El Capitan” (as well as new version of OS from Apple. A coincidence?). Cray is an American company, one of the main manufacturers of supercomputers in the U.S. since the 70-ies of the last century. The list of customers of Cray army of the United States, NASA and several research institutes on the territory of the United States and abroad.
Why you need a supercomputer
As stated in the official press release, the El Capitan job will be to execute basic functions to control the nuclear reserves of the country, to monitor the safety and efficacy of storing nuclear weapons, and to develop measures necessary to address possible emerging threats to national security such as nuclear non-proliferation and counter-terrorism. The other important factor is, according to the Deputy Director of the National office of nuclear security and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, “to be more flexible in matters of balance in the framework of nuclear deterrence.”
El Capitan will have a peak performance of more than 1.5 exaflops, which will produce around 1.5 trillion (1 000 000 500 000 000 000) of calculations per second.
El Capitan will run applications up to 50 times faster than Sequoia, who now works at the National laboratory of Lawrence and 10 times faster than the system Sierra. The latter, by the way, is currently the second most powerful supercomputer in the world. It is expected that work on the creation of the supercomputer will cost US 600 million dollars, and “to intrude on the post” supercomputer needs in 2023.