Thursday, February 28, 2008

$43 million for CSE

The budget documents for fiscal year 2008-2009, released yesterday, report that CSE will receive $43 million over the next two years in order to "make the necessary investments to keep pace with rapid technological advancements in information and communication technologies."

No details, of course, on what that spending might entail. It will probably be spread into a number of areas, but computers and (possibly) real estate would top my list of guesses. CSE has overflowed into two new buildings in recent years, it is spread between those and three or four other buildings, and it may still be growing. So a new building to consolidate some of that spread could be on the to-do list, although where they might put it is a question. Maybe down the hill a bit from the Drake building?

As for computers, there are of course many different uses for them, including the searching and parsing of massive databases of transactional data, but cryptanalysis is one potential reason why CSE might be looking for new computers. CSE is still in the codebreaking business, and no matter what you have, you can always use a faster computer for that. CSE has been using Cray supercomputers since 1985, upgrading to later models whenever it has the chance, and maybe this represents the latest opportunity for an upgrade.

CSE's overall budget won't be known until the detailed Estimates document (the departmental Report on Plans and Priorities) comes out.

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