The Pentagon recently completed a $68 million acquisition of two new supercomputing platforms and related technical services that rank among its most powerful supercomputers ever and will be among the top 100 performers globally.
“These are significant assets,” Kevin Newmeyer, deputy director of the Defense Department’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), told Breaking Defense. “They bring to us an increase in our computing capacity and the latest advanced chips for artificial intelligence work and storage to support applications of both computational and machine learning concepts within the same computer that we hope will deliver products and services to the warfighter faster.”
It’s the HPCMP’s job to give DoD military and civilian as well as defense contractor scientists, engineers, and technologists access to such supercomputers to solve some of the military’s most computationally complex problems. The problems range from climate/weather/ocean modeling and simulation, space/astrophysical sciences, and acoustics to signal/image processing, data/decision analytics, and electronics, networks, and C4I systems. Newmeyer said the most common use case is computational fluid dynamics, which is required for making complicated calculations in areas such as aircraft and ship design and engineering.
For the latest acquisition, the Pentagon chose Penguin Computing’s TrueHPC supercomputing platform. The two new supercomputers, according to the company, will provide DoD with a combined total of over 365,000 cores, more than 775 terabytes of memory, and a total of 47 petabytes of high-performance storage, including over 5 petabytes of high-performance flash storage.
“That’s about 150,000 computers all stacked together, operating as one thing,” Newmeyer said. “If you laid them end to end, you would work your way pretty much across the country.”
What does all that compute power get you? An additional 17.6 petaFLOPS, in total. FLOPS — or floating point operations per second — are the standard measure of a supercomputer’s performance. FLOPS are determined by how many real numbers a computer can process per second while accounting for the trade-off between range and precision of calculations.
Lt Col Charlie Brown I hope those who are making life critical decisions are learning from history and this recent Taliban and 13 active duty deaths that our country cannot knowingly confer and do business deals with known or potential enemies.