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US spooks buy a superconducting supercomputer

by on04 December 2014

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The U.S. intelligence community has launched a multi-year research project to develop a superconducting computer, awarding its first contracts to three major technology companies.

IBM, Raytheon BBN and Northrop Grumman won the contracts, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity said Wednesday, without disclosing financial details.

If it works, the Cryogenic Computer Complexity (C3) program could lead to a new generation of superconducting supercomputers.

"The energy demands of today's high-performance computers have become a critical challenge for the Intelligence Community that the C3 program aims to address," IARPA said in a statement. Such computers use massive amounts of energy.

Competition from Europe, Japan and China, which has the world's fastest computer, is spurring U.S. efforts to develop the next generation of superconducting supercomputers, called exascale.


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