NVIDIA, the company behind the GeFore line of graphics processors, will soon be working on something a little more powerful. The U.S. Department of Energy given NVIDIA $12 million to explore exascale supercomputing. 

An exascale supercomputer is a computer able to reach one The output of current supercomputers are measured in petaflops (one quadrillion floating point operations per second). Exascale is 1000-times larger than petascale. We're talking serious power. 

The Department of Energy would like NVIDIA to develop an exascale computer that will be more energy efficient than the supercomputers of today. The most powerful supercomputer today puts out 16 petaflops and requires an immense amount of energy. Bill Dally, NVIDIA’s Chief Scientist, says that if a exascale computer were built using the technology of today, it would take two gigawatts, or "the entire output of the Hoover Dam" to power it. 

The goal is create a supercomputer that requires only 20 megawatts by 2020. It's an ambitious goal to say the least. Here's to the future. 

[via Ubergizmo]