Computer Power in 5-10 Years.
So where wil computers be in five to ten years? According to the Seattle Times:
Monday, June 26, 2006
WASHINGTON — The federal government is pushing computer scientists and engineers to step up the speed and capacity of America’s supercomputers.
Officials say much faster performance is needed to handle a looming tidal wave of scientific, technical and military data.
“Within the next five to 10 years, computers 1,000 times faster than today’s computers will become available. These advances herald a new era in scientific computing,” according to Raymond Orbach, undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy.
Interestingly, the DOE is interested in issues that are very close to those of the desalination community.
The Department of Energy also is offering $70 million in grants for teams of computer scientists and engineers to develop petascale software and data-management tools.
“The scientific problems are there to be solved, and petascale computers are on the horizon,” said Walter Polansky, senior technical adviser in the department’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing.
For example, the Energy Department wants ultrafast computers to determine the 3-D structure of molecules that let drugs pass through cell walls, knowledge that can be vital against cancer.
This sort of knowledge would be vital to desalination research as well.
A panel of international experts has identified 14 major scientific challenges that, if solved, could lead to breakthroughs in improving global health. The challenges include developing vaccines that do not require refrigeration, preventing insects from transmitting disease, and growing healthy crops in harsh climates. To achieve these breakthroughs, the foundation supports the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative.
Think the Gates Foundation might be interested in funding computer modeling that would lead to cheap/fast/durable desalination membranes & catalysts–that would in turn lead to cheap desalinised water that would help famers growing healthy crops in harsh climates? I do.
Gates Foundation funding might be used to make it simple for desalination researchers without access to the SuperComputers at the National Labs to fund their modeling requirements. Two models for doing this would be 1.) for the scientists to go to the Gates Foundation directly or 2.)for an organization like WaterReuse.org to petition the Gates Foundation for a block grant to cover scientific and admistrative costs for a modeling program that would match scientists with modelers and their supercomputers.
Just a thought.