By 2020, Australian electronics companies will have enough supercomputers to power more than 20% of the country’s total computing power, according to the government.
But what exactly are they?
“They’re not just supercomputing machines that do a super-expensive job,” said John Lutz, director of the Australian National University’s Computational Science Centre and co-author of the research.
“What they’re really good at is solving complex problems.
And they’re doing that by solving a lot of different kinds of problems, which means they’re able to do very high-level tasks, which is really important.”
The government says the supercomputation is designed to deliver an economic advantage for the economy, and will have the potential to improve the efficiency of Australia’s supply chain.
“It’s a big, big, massive computing machine,” said Stephen Loughlin, deputy director of technology at the Commonwealth Bank.
“What you’re going to see is the supercomputer getting smarter.
It’s going to be a big part of the economy and a big contributor to the Australian economy.”
How much computing power is enough?
The government has not said exactly how much computing capacity the super computers will need.
But it’s estimated that each supercomputer could have an annual computing capacity of about 20 terabytes, or 100 petabytes, which can be a lot for a country of only about 80 million people.
“If you were to ask people in Australia today to guess how many terabytes that is, they might say 100 petabyte,” Lutz said.
But the cost of computing has been rising steadily, according for example to IBM’s Watson supercomputer, which cost $300m to build in 2018.
A more recent IBM Watson project, called Deep Blue, cost $5.6 billion to build.
The Government also expects the super computer will be able to perform tasks that are difficult to do today, such as predicting the future, or creating algorithms that could improve the accuracy of healthcare information.
But even though the super machines are so big, they’re not as powerful as their predecessors.
They are, however, powerful enough to be used to crunch some of the most complex problems in computer science, such to finding a way to find an optimal balance between power and efficiency.
What are supercomposites?
Supercomputers are built using a combination of lasers and superconducting switches.
When a laser is fired at a material, it heats the material up, causing the material to emit electrons that are picked up by a second laser, which then turns the material into a new one.
These new electrons then carry information, which helps solve the problem of determining whether an object is in the right place at the right time.
It’s the same process that happens when an electrical current is passed through a capacitor.
To solve a problem, supercomposing the two lasers creates a new device called a “superconductor”.
Supercomposite computers can be used for a wide range of tasks, including image analysis, image recognition, speech recognition, medical research, image synthesis and computer vision.
While some of these tasks are already being done, the superconductor can also be used in the creation of artificial intelligence.
“There are supercondensers in the brain and they can be activated and they give you intelligence,” Luthlis said.
“But you don’t have supercomputable intelligence yet.”
What is the government doing with the super computing?
In 2020, the government plans to use the super supercomputer to accelerate the development of Australia-based manufacturing, as well as the national research infrastructure.
It’s estimated the super machine will generate $20 billion a year for the Australian research infrastructure, and $40 billion in revenue to the economy.
Labor has said the super computations will help the Australian industry grow and help Australia compete globally.
“The supercomputer is a tool that’s being put to great use in a number of sectors of our economy, including high technology, high-value manufacturing, health, education and so on,” Labor’s research and innovation spokesman David Littlejohn said.
“The Government’s announcement today shows Australia is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure it gets the best technology available to it.”
Topics:electronics-and-electronics,science-and/or-technology,computer-science,education,health,research,australiaFirst posted January 21, 2020 18:45:38Contact David Littleman