Democratic News

 

 

November 8, 2011

 

The President

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

We write to you to ask for your continued support and leadership to advance the Department of Energy’s (DOE) exascale computing initiative. America’s leadership in high performance computing (HPC) is essential to a vast range of national priorities in science, energy, environment, health, and national security.

 

U.S. leadership in HPC is threatened by strategic governmental investments in HPC programs in China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the European Union.  In November 2010 the most powerful U.S. supercomputer was unseated and now ranks only third in the world behind computers from Japan and China.  These foreign governments have recognized the crucial role HPC plays in both developing new technologies and increasing efficiencies in existing systems – leadership in HPC means greater economic competitiveness and national security.

 

For decades the U.S. was the leader in HPC through collaborative efforts led by the DOE between national laboratories, academia, and industry.  Investments in HPC have enabled extraordinary scientific and technical advances in support of DOE’s mission priorities and many Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, rely heavily on supercomputing and advances in HPC. 

 

Now, the race is on to develop exascale computing capabilities – supercomputers 1000 times more powerful than the fastest computers today.  This will require the development of new computer architectures with improved power consumption, memory, reliability, and software.  As with previous generations of HPC systems, the resulting technological advances will further support Federal priorities like energy research and national security and will be integrated into electronics industries strengthening high-tech competitiveness and driving economic growth.

 

The U.S. cannot afford to cede leadership in HPC, and the DOE has embarked on a program that again combines the talents of the national laboratories, academia, and industry to develop exascale computing capabilities by the year 2020.  Due to the competitive nature of HPC and the progress and governmental support foreign competitors are enjoying, it is critical that the U.S. not delay its exascale computing efforts.

 

We commend you for the support of exascale computing you have already shown by requesting the initial funding in the FY2012 Budget Request.  Given the strong support our global competitors are receiving, it is imperative that the U.S. continue to commit resources to remain competitive in the HPC race to exascale capability.  

 

We encourage you to continue your support of the DOE exascale computing initiative through a request in the FY2013 Budget Request.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Jeff Bingaman                                                                           Lamar Alexander

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Ron Wyden                                                                              Richard Durbin

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

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Jon Kyl                                                                                    Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Patty Murray                                                                            Bob Corker

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Barbara Boxer                                                                          Dianne Feinstein

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Scott Brown                                                                             Kristen Gillibrand

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Tom Udall                                                                                Bernard Sanders          

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

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Jeff Merkley                                                                             Al Franken

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

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John Boozman                                                                          Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Christopher Coons                                                                   Mark Kirk

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Carl Levin                                                                                Kay Hagan

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

______________________­­­­­­­__                                                ________________________

Herb Kohl                                                                                Maria Cantwell

U.S. Senator                                                                            U.S. Senator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cc:    Honorable Jacob J. Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget

         Honorable Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy