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Exotic Technology Initiative

New for 2006, the Exotic Technologies Initiative is a search for innovative technologies with the potential to make a major impact on high performance computing over the next 15 years. Technologies such as field programmable gate arrays, multi-core chips, holographic storage and novel cooling techniques may offer near term benefits while quantum computing, chip level optical interconnect and fundamental material breakthroughs offer potential paradigm changing benefits over the long term.

Each year, we discuss what will be the best system at our next SC meeting, but SC06 will be different. Instead of looking one, two or three years ahead, the SC06 Exotic Technologies Initiative will create a forum for dialogue about what will be the hottest systems at SC2020.

There will be two Exotic Technologies Panel sessions. In the first, experts in advanced system technologies will predict the design of the best HPC architectures in 2020. They will defend why they think the technology they select will be the winning technology 15 years from now. The second panel will be storage experts who will predict the best storage architectures in 2020. The panels will pick one set of technology — not a list of possibilities — to define the system. They will define the performance and aspects of the technologies and explain why their system is the most likely to succeed.

How do attendees participate? Besides questions and comments at the sessions, attendees will vote for the proposed systems of 2020 they think are most likely to succeed. The presentations, votes and attendee comments will all be sealed in a time capsule that will be opened in 2020, which will be used in 2020 to compare the predications to reality. The time capsule will also include an appropriate prize for the presenter who made the best prediction.

Exotic technologies will also have an exhibit to showcase technology being developed today that could be in the systems of 2015 to 2020. Technology developers will exhibit candidate technology for the future systems during exhibit hours.

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