AMD has been given a grant under the FastForward program to the tune of $12.6 million to research next generation supercomputing technology. The program is a joint effort between the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Energy designed to advance research of exascale computers.
Supercomputers like Blue Waters that is being installed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will top out near a thousand trillion operations per second, otherwise known as a petaflop. Exascale computers are believed to be able to process data up to a thousand times faster than current generation petascale supercomputers.
AMD will use $9.6 million for processor research and reserve the remaining $3 million for memory advancements, all of which is good news for the company as they continue to struggle against Intel and slowing sales in general. The chip vendor recently slashed their second quarter sales outlook by 11 percent over the first quarter, causing share value to drop nearly 10 percent. As of writing, stock value in the chip company sits at $4.86.
This isn’t the first time that AMD has worked with the US government on supercomputer projects. Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jaguar supercomputer is powered by AMD processors. Upgrades for that system (now known as Titan) are already under way, with AMD having provided nearly 20,000 Opteron processors, or close to $300,000 worth of chips. Other system specs include 600TB of RAM and 960 Fermi GPUs.