As mentioned at http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/exaflop-supercomputer-receives-full-funding-senate-appropriators/2011-09-11, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted September 7th to approve the amount as part of the fiscal 2012 energy and water appropriations bill, which starts October 1st, 2011. Also mentioned that in a report accompanying the bill, the Senate appropriators say Energy plans to deploy the first Exascale system in 2018, despite challenges.
Good news indeed. You can argue if the funding is enough to accelerate the development toward the Exascale, but the indication on 2018 as the target year for the first Exascale machine is an encouraging news. My only hope is that part of the funding will go toward commodity-based development. I would hate to see the entire funding go toward proprietary solutions (we saw what happened with Blue Waters…)
Since my systems are not as big as the ones in the large, known, famous HPC centers (well… I do not have the funding that they get…), any development around standard-based solutions will help my systems to be better, faster and stronger as I can use the same building blocks. I would like to have my own small Exascale-like system in 2018 too … :-)