A supercomputer 20 times faster than any currently in existence is being built by the US.
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A statement released by President Barack Obama said the “exascale” machine will be finalised by 2025, and once introduced will be used to power government departments.
An organisation called the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) is being set up to research and develop the technology.
Almost 40 times faster than any machine previously developed by the US, it will be able to execute a quintillion (a billion billion) calculations in one second. This is 20 times faster than the world's current fastest computer, which is the Tianhe-2 in China's National Computer Centre in Guangzhou.
It will speed up scientific research and also create more complex simulations, allowing more accurate analysis of weather data and improved disease diagnosis. It will also help the pharmaceutical industry tailor medicines for individuals.
Government departments set to benefit from the creation include Nasa, the FBI, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Homeland Security
In a statement, the President said the technology will establish the US's global position as a leader in computer research and development:
Maximizing the benefits of high performance computing in the coming decades will require an effective national response to increasing demands for computing power, emerging technological challenges and opportunities, and growing economic dependency on and competition with other nations.This national response will require a cohesive, strategic effort within the Federal Government and a close collaboration between the public and private sectors.