US DoE and Intel Building First Exascale Supercomputer

Intel’s newsroom reports: “Targeted for 2021 delivery, the Argonne National Laboratory Supercomputer will enable high-performance computing [HPC] and artificial intelligence [AI] at Exascale” The work is being done with sub-contractor Cray Inc.

This means 10^18 floating point operations per second, or exaFLOPS.  Intel continues:

The Aurora system’s exaFLOP of performance – equal to a “quintillion” floating point computations per second – combined with an ability to handle both traditional high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) will give researchers an unprecedented set of tools to address scientific problems at exascale. These breakthrough research projects range from developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations, discovering new approaches for drug response prediction and discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells. The Aurora system will foster new scientific innovation and usher in new technological capabilities, furthering the United States’ scientific leadership position globally.

The Argonne National Laboratory is in Lemont, Illinois.

Fastest Supercomputer on Earth Now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

For several years now, Chinese supercomputers have been the fastest in the world. The list of the fastest supercomputers, at, had been showing the U.S. falling behind. Recently the Oak RIdge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee announced that the new, IBM-built “Summit” supercomputer is capable of 200 petaflops. By comparison, a modern, fast desktop PC is in the teraflop class, making Summit about 200,000 times faster. ORNL’s release noted that uses for the machine include: “machine learning and deep learning to problems in human health, high-energy physics, [and] materials discovery. Summit allows [the Dept. of Energy] DOE and ORNL to respond to the White House Artificial Intelligence for America initiative.”

Apple Needs Supercomputer Expertise to Compete

just over a decade ago, Apple was very much into supercomputers. Organizations were building large supercomputers and small clusters with Apple’s Xserves. But Apple got out of that business and then discontinued the Xserve. One can only wonder what the impact would have been if Apple had decided to maintain its in-house expertise with supercomputers. Today, companies with the best supercomputer power will have a competitive edge. Page 2 of Particle Debris discusses.