In this statement, Addison Snell gives an overview of the high performance computing (HPC) industry, including analysis of hardware, software, and industry trends. Where relevant, market data from Intersect360 Research is included, particularly for the analysis of significant HPC market segmentations. In the next section, Addison Snell gives a country-level analysis of national supercomputing strategies and programmes, for the U.S., China, and other significant countries. In the closing section he gives an analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.
While the U.S. still leads by far in the most straightforward market share metrics of production (vendors, supply-side) and consumption (buyers, demand-side), industry indicators show the U.S. is falling behind in the leading edge of advancement. Chinese leadership has apparently recognized the relationship between HPC and economic growth and has set forth on a programme to drive the country into a leadership position. The best response to this new challenge is to continue if not increase national support for HPC at all levels.
National supercomputing efforts are essential to motivating investment at the high end. From that point, U.S. companies excel at seizing opportunities to drive markets forward. Against these strengths, the top limitations to Exascale deployments are software and skills. If the U.S. does build a system, how will the U.S. use it? A key feature of the Exascale Computing Programme is its emphasis on co-design, finding end-user stakeholders to collaborate on the design of next-generation supercomputing technologies, bolstered by government funding. Addison Snell recommends:
Regardless of these recommendations, the HPC market will continue, powering new innovations and ideas around the world. Supercomputers today are close to a million times more powerful now than they were 20 years ago. In another 20 years, they could be a million times more powerful still. The leaders in supercomputing will be the ones that do not rest on their achievements, but rather continue to chase the next challenge over each new horizon.
A transcript of the oral testimony has been made available at the USCC website.