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House Passes Lipinski Amendment to Boost Funding for Supercomputer Project at Argonne National Lab

CHICAGO—The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a spending bill that includes an amendment offered by Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) to provide an additional $15 million to Argonne National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility to support a first-of-its-kind supercomputer. The amendment, co-sponsored by Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11), was included in HR 2740, which provides funding for the Department of Energy and other agencies and passed the House today on a vote of 226-203.

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility will soon be home to Aurora, the first exascale computer in the United States, if not the world.  This machine will be able to perform one quintillion, or one billion billion, operations per second. Lipinski’s amendment will provide additional funding for software upgrades and personnel support to help ensure that the United States maintains it leadership in supercomputing.

“Supercomputers promise to address a number of challenges facing the people in my district and across the nation,” Lipinski said. “They can be used in guiding the design of new medical drugs, modeling changes to our climate, designing new materials for a variety of future commercial products, and developing quantum algorithms. New supercomputers will also make it easier and faster to analyze ever-growing big data sets, paving the way for advancements in artificial intelligence. We are currently in a race with China to produce the first exascale computer; this amendment will help us in this race for economic and national security.”

In addition to addressing needs for software upgrades and personnel support, the additional funding in Lipinski’s amendment will increase sharing and harmonization of computer code with other Department of Energy supercomputers. 

“I am proud to join Congressman Lipinski to make sure Argonne National Laboratory has the resources it needs to operate the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility at a level that will produce the maximum benefit to our nation’s scientific and engineering community, which rely on Argonne’s supercomputing resources to accelerate discovery and innovation,” said Foster. “This measure will also help Argonne maximize the efficiency of the world-class Aurora exascale computer that will be at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation for decades to come.”