Intel fellow Shekhar Borkar has told the Semicon West fab tool vendor tradeshow that exascale computing will become a reality before the decade is out.
But he said that while the technology will be possible, thanks to parallelism and technology scaling, it will not meet its full potential.
According to EETimes, Borker said that the problem is that exascale computing needs to overcome power consumption barriers.
He said that by about 2018, engineers are expected to create an exascale supercomputer, capable of a 1,000-fold performance improvement compared with today's petaflop systems.
But an exascale computer will consume vast amounts of power, according to Borkar, and the real challenge will be to build one which consumes only 20 megawatts (MW) of power.
If they manage this then giga-scale systems consuming only 20 milliwatts of power can be used in small toys and mega-scale systems that consume only 20 microwatts could be used in heart monitors.