White House Advances High-Performance Computing Initiative

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2016, 6:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

The White House last week released a new strategic plan to implement the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) – a supercomputing research effort – across government agencies. The plan calls for greater collaboration among industry, academia, and the government to build an ecosystem that will enable advancements in high-performance computing.


High-performance computing uses supercomputers and advanced processing techniques to solve complex computational problems at extraordinary speeds through computer modeling, simulation, and data analysis. A recent report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) examined the many critical applications of high-performance computing and called on Congress and the Administration to advance policies that support it.

The White House plan focuses not only on building the world’s fastest supercomputers, but also on developing systems that can be deployed to agencies for research in grand challenges, including research that could benefit public health or the economy. The proposal calls for additional research in foundational technologies, like semiconductors, to be conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other agencies. It directs NSF to focus research on further miniaturization of CMOS technology and establish additional research to explore alternatives to CMOS.

Additionally, the plan highlights the recently announced Energy-Efficiency program (E2CDA) between NSF and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) as a model for public-private partnership to address the NSCI challenges. SIA and several member companies participated in a workshop on the NSCI at the White House on Friday, July 29.

SIA is currently working to bolster investments in semiconductor R&D and hopes that the NSCI will bring heightened attention to semiconductor research across government agencies. Policymakers should support research investments to advance high-performance computing and boost U.S. competitiveness and technology leadership.