LONDON ClearSpeed Technology has just been awarded an Exceptional Research and Development Grant of £427,800 by the Department of Trade and Industry to address the problem of the cost of computing in the exploitation of nanotechnology research.
The mapping of the Human Genome in 2000 was one of the most computationally intense programmes ever undertaken, but it will be dwarfed by the needs of the emerging nanotechnology industries.
While these materials are expected to have an important impact in areas as diverse as health, engineering, and the environment, their development requires calculations and modelling to be done at the molecular level. This, in turn, is forecast to require individual computer systems with sustained performance of 1 PetaFLOP (one thousand million million floating point operations per second) so that a single system will need the equivalent of twice the total combined performance from the world's current top 500 computer systems.
ClearSpeed's first chip, the CS301, addresses both performance and power efficiency to deliver up to a 70x increase in performance per watt, enabling new levels of compute density.
The Exceptional Research and Development Grant will enable ClearSpeed to develop a 64-bit processor to overcome the traditional barriers of high performance computing performance – power supply and cooling requirements.