Nvidia Gets $12 Million Contract

Millions spent on super computing

Melissa Valliere/New Bedford Police

Don't expect any Solyndra-like results here. The United States government is back in Silicon Valley, but this time it's investing in something a little more reliable: supercomputing.

The Department of Energy spent $12.4 million on valley chipmaker Nvidia to work on a project called Exascale computing. Nvidia says it will create machines much faster than current supercomputers, performing a quintillion floating point calculations per second.

For you mathematicians out there, that's a billion billion calculations per second.

Nvidia's money is also just the tip of the iceberg. The DOE is also said to be funding chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices with a similar amount of money, and Intel, the world's largest maker of semiconductors, is said to be hauling in close to $19 million of government money.

Now, unlike the Solyndra mess, these companies are not likely to go out of business anytime soon. On top of that, supercomputing is already established -- weather, defense, etc., all use them every day. With three powerhouse rivals working on the new machines, we could have what Abraham Lincoln would have called a Team of Rivals.

Or, just a bunch of valley engineers with a bit more job security, working on a very fast, very cool project.

Scott Budman can type a character each second. He’s on Twitter: @scottbudman

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