Fleischmann: America must continue to advance high-performance computing

June 25, 2020
Press Release
America must continue to advance high-performance computing
By Rep. Chuck Fleischmann
June 25, 2020
Earlier this week, the Summit supercomputer was dethroned as the fastest supercomputer in the world. Summit, housed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, held the top spot on the top500 list, an authoritative compilation of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, since its deployment in 2018. The Top500 is updated twice a year, a testament to the speed with which supercomputers are evolving and the intensity of the competition to stay ahead.
Medical and pharmaceutical research is just one of the myriad arenas in which supercomputers are essential. The economic impact of high-performance computing (the type of computing performed by supercomputers) is immense because of its utility in industries ranging from the automotive industry to aerospace, from oil discovery to finance, just to name a few. Most significantly, supercomputing is also closely tied to our national security interests, as complex modeling and simulation are vital to the development of nearly every weapons system (such as nuclear weapons and missile defense), as well as to encryption technology.
While Japan may currently occupy the top spot, the competition between the United States and China is the one to watch. Given the economic and national security implications of high-performance computing, falling behind China in this race is not an outcome the United States or the world can afford. It is incredibly important that we continue to support our American high-performance computing so that the United States can not only remain competitive but also continue to dominate the globe in our technical advancements and research capabilities.