Abstract for the Fourth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.

PetaFLOPS Computing and Computational Nanotechnology

Subhash Saini
Algorithms, Applications and Architectures
NASA Ames Research Center, MS T27A-1
Moffett Field, California 94035-1000
email: saini@nas.nasa.gov


At a recent press conference, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin encouraged NASA Ames Research Center to take a lead role in promoting research and development of advanced, high-performance computer technology, including nanotechnology. Recently, the need for this intensive simulation and modeling analysis has greatly increased, due in part to the ever-increasing complexity of these devices, as well as the lessons of experiences such as the Pentium divide error. Simulation, modeling, testing, and validation will be even more important in the design of molecular nanosystems because of the complex specification of millions of atoms, millions of assembly steps, as well as the simulation and modeling needed to ensure reliable, robust and efficient fabrication of the molecular devices and molecular systems. One of the biggest challenges in nanotechnology is the capability of simulating an entire assembly sequence of 100 million or more atoms nano-object. This needs about one million to one billion fold increase; more computing power than available today. For the nanotechnology project to be success it will be essential to develop PetaFLOPS computing system and associated software. We will survey the various enabling technologies such as semiconductors, superconducting, optical, and exotic (quantum integrated circuits, molecular computers, DNA computers) available in the next 20 to 25 years for making PetaFLOPS computing systems. Various possible PetaFLOPS computing systems architectures will also be given.