Supercomputers are often used today for a wide variety of tasks. The computing power of modern supercomputers enables complex mathematical calculations, the creation of new effective drugs and even the search for extraterrestrial life. However, all of these applications raise virtually no questions, as they aim to speed up the receipt of one or the other result. It has just become known that a group of US companies is developing a new (and very powerful) supercomputer that will handle all of its nuclear potential. Should we start to be afraid?
Who develops a supercomputer for the management of nuclear weapons
According to the Engadget publication, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) are responsible for creating the supercomputer. Recently, these organizations announced that they had signed a contract with Cray for the development of the first military supercomputer named "El Capitan" (as well as the new operating system version of Apple, coincidence?). Cray is an American company that has been one of the major US supercomputer manufacturers since the 1970s. The list of Cray customers includes the US Army, NASA and a number of research institutes both in the US and abroad.
Why do I need a supercomputer?
According to an official press release, El Capitan's mission is to perform the key functions of controlling the country's nuclear inventory, monitoring the security and effectiveness of nuclear storage, and developing measures necessary to address any emerging threats to national security such as the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the fight against terrorism. Another important factor, according to Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, deputy director of the National Nuclear Safety Administration, is the ability to be "more flexible in the context of the nuclear deterrent balance program".
El Capitan will have a peak power of more than 1.5 exaflops, which will allow about 1.5 trillion (1,500,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second. Do you want your desktop PC to perform the same? Write about it in our chat in telegram.
El Capitan will run applications 50 times faster than the Sequoia system, now running at the Lawrence National Laboratory, and 10 times faster than the Sierra system. Incidentally, the latter is currently the second strongest supercomputer in the world. It is expected that working on a supercomputer will cost the US budget $ 600 million, and the supercomputer should "pick up the mail" in 2023.
That's interesting: how does artificial intelligence work?
Of course, one should not expect a bleak future in the style of the universe of the movie "Terminator" in general, because the supercomputer is used only for calculations and does not even have the basics of artificial intelligence in the usual sense. On the other hand, El Capitan is still a technique. A technique can fail sometimes. And what happens if a malfunction occurs in the computer, which is responsible for the entire nuclear potential of a huge country, one can only guess. Maybe you have speculation about it?