WASHINGTON Four computer makers will study concepts for a new generation of affordable, scalable computing systems under contracts awarded on Wednesday (June 12) by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).
The $3 million, 12-month contracts were awarded to Cray Inc. (Seattle), IBM Corp. (Austin, Texas), Silicon Graphics Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.). A second 36-month research and development phase will be followed by selection of a contractor for a 48-month full-scale development phase.
Darpa said the goal of its High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) program is to develop a new generation of affordable high-end computers for national security and industrial users by as early as 2007. The agency said the program is intended to fill the computing gap faced by the U.S. Department of Defense as it moves from high-performance computing technology based on 1980s technology to quantum computing over the next decade.
The computer effort will also develop a set of requirements, benchmarks and metrics for tera-scale and peta-scale computing architectures.
More information on the program is available at Darpa's HPCS Web site.