Though China still has more supercomputers on the Top 500 list, the USA takes the crown of “world’s fastest supercomputer” from China after IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) unveiled “Summit.”
America’s most powerful supercomputer, Summit, is a machine for scientific discovery.
Summit is claimed to be more than twice as powerful as the current world leader with a peak performance of a whopping 200,000 trillion calculations per second—that’s as fast as each 7.6 billion people of this planet doing 26.3 million calculations per second on a calculator.
What are machines like this used for? Artificial Intelligence, weather forecasting, work on high level physics, and the human genome, astrophysics, cancer research, and systems biology.
According to Jeff Nichols, ORNL associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences,
Summit takes accelerated computing to the next level, with more computing power, more memory, an enormous high-performance file system and fast data paths to tie it all together. That means researchers will be able to get more accurate results faster. Summit’s AI-optimized hardware also gives researchers an incredible platform for analyzing massive datasets and creating intelligent software to accelerate the pace of discovery.
Summit is believed to be the next generation of a long line of development. According to ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia:
From its genesis 75 years ago, ORNL has a history and culture of solving large and difficult problems with national scope and impact, ORNL scientists were among the scientific teams that achieved the first gigaflops calculations in 1988, the first teraflops calculations in 1998, the first petaflops calculations in 2008 and now the first exaops calculations in 2018. The pioneering research of ORNL scientists and engineers has played a pivotal role in our nation’s history and continues to shape our future. We look forward to welcoming the scientific user community to Summit as we pursue another 75 years of leadership in science.