US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to create the world’s first exaflop supercomputer.The machine would be more than 30 times faster than today’s fastest supercomputer, reaching exascale speeds which are defined as a billion billion calculations per second.
The US energy, defence and science departments will team up on the project, to create super powerful computers for use by NASA, the FBI and the Department for Homeland Security.
An exascale computer would be so advanced that it would be capable of mimicking the human brain.
An exaflop is equivalent to around 1,000 petaflops.
The US currently has the second fastest supercomputer, located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory which runs at 17.6 petaflops.
China’s Tianhe-2 is the world leader, running at 33.86 petaflops.
Earlier this year Intel won a $200m contract from the US government to build a 180-petaflops computer by 2018.
Supercomputers are useful for everything from modelling drug effects to predicting the consequences of climate change.
The US currently has more supercomputers in the top 500 list, but lawmakers are concerned that the country could fall behind China.