Investing in Supercomputers

Kenna Castleberry

Supercomputers are considered the machines of the future. They are extremely powerful and are able to do many difficult tasks beyond a normal computer, such as computing climate change, molecular modeling, or working in quantum mechanics. Supercomputers are typically large computers that fill entire buildings, on occasion. The most well-known supercomputers are the Fukagu computer in Japan and the Summit computer from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S.

There are many reasons to invest in supercomputers. Unlike other sectors of deep technology or deep tech, supercomputing is still largely research-based. This doesn’t stop many venture capitalists from investing, as supercomputing research largely ties in with artificial intelligence (AI). Some of the other motivations to invest in supercomputers and their research are the following:

  1. There is a huge demand for supercomputers

According to a 2021 report by the Center for Data Innovation, the demand for using supercomputers has greatly risen. This is mainly due to the research that utilizes these machines. As supercomputers help with AI development and research, the demand for supercomputers is linked to the demand for AI technology, which is also on the rise. This large demand could lead to lucrative results for some investors.

  1. The US Government has both cut and funded the supercomputing industry, which is worth billions

It was found from this same report that the NSF had decreased its funding for supercomputers by 50% while the U.S. Energy Department actually increased its funding to this industry by 90%. While this may sound confusing for any potential investor, it shows that there is still plenty of interest in supercomputers, and where there is interest, there is a potential margin.

  1. Other countries are spending lots of money on supercomputers

Countries like China and Japan are continuing to increase funding toward supercomputer development. The EU recently pledged a total of $9:7 billion toward supercomputing. In fact, according to the EU website, they acquired the LUMI supercomputer, based in Finland, for all European countries to use for research.

Supercomputing is still in its research stages for investors but many venture capitalists are taking this time to stake an early claim. As the research of supercomputing progresses its capital market will become more competitive and lucrative for some individuals.

References:

“EU Steps up Investment in World-Class Supercomputers for Researchers and Businesses | Shaping Europe’s Digital Future.” digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu, October 21, 2020.

Tadjdeh, Yasmin. “Demand Outpacing Supply for Supercomputers.” www.nationaldefensemagazine.org, January 29, 2021.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Supercomputer.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, May 9, 2019.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

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