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Originally appeared in Thursday, March 11, 2003 Oak Ridger
URL: http://www.oakridger.com/stories/031104/new_20040311006.shtml

Alexander co-sponsors legislation on high-performance computers

from staff reports

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, co-chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Caucus, announced Wednesday that he will co-sponsor S.2176, the High-End Computing Revitalization Act of 2004, to put the Untied States at the forefront of high-performance computing that is critical to scientific advancements and commercial competitiveness, according to a press release. "The central elements to our job-creation ability in America are: service, innovation, science, technology and education - those give us our edge," Alexander, R-Tenn., said during the Oak Ridge Associated Universities forum, "High-Performance Computing: Driving Research in Nanotechnology, Climate Change, and Biology" at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. "As we look to the future and wonder about our jobs, our standard of living and how secure we'll be in the world, so much of our advantage depends on science and technology. As a Tennessee senator, I am proud of the fact that the Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge is so unique and important to our future. It will reestablish this country's leadership in high-performance computing."

The proposed high-performance computing legislation:

  • Authorizes the Department of Energy to establish an Ultrascale Scientific Computing Capability, which is 100 times more powerful than current capability for open scientific research. This is a high priority in DOE's 20-year facility plan.
  • Authorizes a minimum of $100 million each year for five years for the Secretary of Energy to establish scientific computing facilities.
  • Authorizes a minimum of $10 million each year for five years for the Energy Secretary to establish a high-end software development center.

In March 2002, Japan introduced its Earth Simulator, the most powerful computer in the world. This high-performance computer simulates climate patterns for better understanding of climate variations, as well as the carbon cycle in nature and the impact of human activity on the global climate.

While four of the five top computers in the world are in America, Spain is currently planning on building the second most powerful computer in the world for general scientific use.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, co-chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Caucus, is the bill's sponsor.

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Updated: Wednesday, 10-Nov-2004 09:29:42 EST

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