Exascale computing refers to computing systems capable of at least one exaFLOPS. Such capacity represents a thousandfold increase over the first petascale computer that came into operation in 2008. (One exaflops is a thousand petaflops or a quintillion, 1018, floating point operations per second.) At a supercomputing conference in 2009, Computerworld projected exascale implementation by 2018.
Exascale computing would be considered as a significant achievement in computer science, for it is believed to be the order of processing power of the human brain at neural level (functional might be lower). It is for instance the target power of the Human Brain Project.
The initiative has been endorsed by two US agencies: the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration, both of which are part of the US Department of Energy. The technology would be useful in various computation-intensive research areas, including basic research, engineering, earth science, biology, materials science, energy issues, and national security.
The United States has put aside $126 million for exascale computing beginning in 2012.
Three projects aiming at developing technologies and software for exascale computing have been started in 2011 within the European Union. The CRESTA project (Collaborative Research into Exascale Systemware, Tools and Applications), the DEEP project (Dynamical ExaScale Entry Platform), and the project Mont-Blanc.
- National Research Council (U.S.) (2008). The potential impact of high-end capability computing on four illustrative fields of science and engineering. The National Academies. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-309-12485-0.
- "Scientists, IT community await exascale computers". Computerworld. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Intel Snaps Up InfiniBand Technology, Product Line from QLogic". 2012-01-23.
- "Exascale Computing Requires Chips, Power and Money". Wired.com. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Science Prospects and Benefits with Exascale Computing". Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Obama Budget Includes $126 Million for Exascale Computing".
- "Europe Gears Up for the Exascale Software Challenge with the 8.3M Euro CRESTA project". Project consortium. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Booster for Next-Generation Supercomputers Kick-off for the European exascale project DEEP". FZ Jülich. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Mont-Blanc project sets Exascale aims". Project consortium. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Supercomputer stagnation: New list of the world’s fastest computers casts shadow over exascale by 2020, extremetech.com
- . MPI at Exascale: Challenges for Data Structures and Algorithms. Abstract of Recent Advances in Parallel Virtual Machine and Message Passing Interface, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5759. ISBN 978-3-642-03769-6. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009, p. 3.
-  The Road to Exascale: Can Nanophotonics Help? Digital Manufacturing Report. November 22, 2011.