Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

World's most powerful supercomputer Archives

Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled a new supercomputer that's significantly faster than the old one Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled a new supercomputer that's significantly faster than the old one. Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Laurie Berry | 11 June, 2018, 17:47

By comparison, China's Sunway TaihuLight - officially the world's fastest supercomputer - has a benchmark rating of 93 petaflops.

Of course the champion's reign is likely to be short-lived, as China is host to the largest number of supercomputers in the world and Beijing, Tokyo and Europe are now rushing even faster machines clocking exaflop (1,000 petaflop) speeds into development.

The supercomputer was unveiled Friday at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "We reached a pinnacle today".

The newest instrument in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's scientific arsenal is a mammoth, liquid-cooled supercomputer sprawled over an eighth of an acre that is being hailed as the fastest in the world.

The United States Department of Energy, in collaboration with IBM, this week showed off what is now the fastest supercomputer in the world: Summit.

With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second-or 200 petaflops, Summit will be eight times more powerful than America's current top-ranked system, Titan, which is also housed at ORNL.

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John Kelly, who heads IBM's artificial intelligence and research projects, told Bloomberg: "These computers obviously offer those that have them the ability to innovate very, very quickly and have a competitive advantage". And 95 percent of that computing power comes from GPUs. The nodes are also connected by no less than 185 miles of fiber-optic cable.

"Summit takes GPU 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", said James Hack, director of ORNL's National Center for Computational Sciences. The system relies on over 10 petabytes of RAM.

The operating system running on top of all that power is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Although Summit now takes the top spot in the world in terms of speed, there are always people developing the next better, faster machine. "Its software will write software, fantastic software that no human can write". Summit is expected to be useful in applying artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning to solve problems in areas such as human health, high-energy physics, and material discovery.

It drives the world's best computer scientists and companies to keep developing new technologies in an effort to built ever-faster computers, and in doing so keeping pushing the envelope of what is possible. "It's going to have a profound impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security".

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