We are now living in the PetaScale era, since the most powerful computer on Earth (a Chinese machine!) reaches the processing capacity of several PFLOPS (million of billion of floating point instructions per second).
As a matter of fact the amount of date produced every year has already got into the ExaScale (close to 200 EB).
Now Intel at the Supercomputers Conference has announced a roadmap leading computers in the ExaScale Era by 2018.
By 2020, according to Intel, the most powerful computer will have reach the 4 EFLOPS, something that will be need for the ever more precise climate change prediction upon which we are basing our economic policy in the energy field.
Take a look at what was presented at the conference for a peek into the future of processing, a future where, as far as this decade is concerned, the Moore’s law will hold.
Interestingly, one of the major stumbling block in this progress is the energy required to power these new monsters. If we were to use the technology used today by the fastest supercomputer and power it up to reach the EFLOP barrier we would need 1,6 GW of power, enough to serve city with 2 million people.
Intel is working with some European Research Centres to find ways to decrease the amount of power required.