IARPA in the News 2014

Federal Computer Week

The intelligence community's research arm is moving forward in its effort to develop a new type of superconducting supercomputer that would use exponentially less power and floor space.

Officials at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said on Dec. 3 that they had awarded three research contracts to support the first phase of the Cryogenic Computing Complexity (C3) program. The program aims to develop a small-scale supercooled supercomputer prototype.

The Inquirer

The US government has announced a plan to build a new kind of supercomputer, one that will not need all of the resources required by current machines.

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a research body within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is betting money on what is being described as the future of high-performance computing (HPC) for intelligence applications.

UPI

American intelligence agencies announced plans Friday to develop and build a new superconducting supercomputer, one which would increase current computing capacity while simultaneously reducing the energy consumption and physical footprint of the machines.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, a branch of the U.S. intelligence community, said in a press release that the agency has embarked on a multi-year research effort called the Cryogenic Computer Complexity program, or C3.

Scientific Computing

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), has embarked on a multi-year research effort to develop a superconducting computer. If successful, technology developed under the Cryogenic Computer Complexity (C3) program will pave the way to a new generation of superconducting supercomputers that are far more energy efficient.

“The power, space, and cooling requirements for current supercomputers based on complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology are becoming unmanageable,” said Marc Manheimer, C3 program manager at IARPA. “Computers based on superconducting logic integrated with new kinds of cryogenic memory will allow expansion of current computing facilities while staying within space and energy budgets, and may enable supercomputer development beyond the exascale."

Next Big Future

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines in the Intelligence Community (IC). IARPA is investing in breakthrough superconducting computing to enable energy efficient exaflop supercomputers. They could make an exaflop supercomputer that use 2 megawatts or less. The Cryogenic Computing Complexity (C3) is the name of the superconducting computer project.

Conventional computing systems, which are based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) switching devices and normal metal interconnects, appear to have no path to be able to increase energy efficiency fast enough to keep up with increasing demands for computation.