Importance of High-Performance Computing to U.S. Competitiveness

May 03, 2016
High Performance Computing report

This report explains what high-performance computing is and why both HPC production and use matters; articulates how industry, academia, and governments leverage HPC to solve frontier challenges; details the contours of the intensifying competition for global HPC leadership; and assesses U.S. policy toward high-performance computing.

As of November 2015, China’s Tianhe-2 , shown in Figure 2, rates as the world’s fastest high- performance computer, with a peak theoretical perf ormance speed of 54.9 petaflops, double the speed of the world’s second -fastest computer, America’s Titan , which operates at a maximum speed of 27.1 petaflops at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Surprisingly, the ranking of the world’s top-five fastest supercomputers has remained unchanged from June 2013 to November 2015, but that reality is soon to change as countries significantly ramp up their investments in HPC and new machines currently in development come online.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation