House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas released a statement today after the announcement that the U.S. no longer has the fastest supercomputer in the world. That title, previously held by the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, now goes to the Fugaku system in Japan. Fugaku is 2.8 times more powerful than Summit.

“Falling behind in supercomputing power has significant consequences for American competitiveness and technological development,” Lucas said. “We need supercomputing to perform the complex modeling necessary to develop things like nuclear fusion, advanced building materials, and COVID-19 treatments. Dropping in the rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers is a wake-up call, and a reminder that we need to continue to invest in next-generation supercomputers, including exascale systems, if we want to stay competitive scientifically.”

The U.S. still has four of the top ten fastest supercomputers in the world. In 2018, Congress passed the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, a Science Committee bill which authorizes the development of exascale computing systems. Exascale systems can perform one billion, billion calculations per second, and developing one is critical to enabling scientific discovery, strengthening national security, and promoting U.S. industrial competitiveness. The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) will deliver at least one exascale-capable system in 2021 – reasserting U.S. leadership in this critical area.

“The Administration has shown strong leadership on the development of advanced computing initiatives,” Lucas said. “I’m encouraged by that commitment to America’s competitiveness.”