The US Department of Energy has just unveiled what it says is the world's fastest supercomputer. The new system, called Summit , is eight times faster than Titan, which has so far been the fastest supercomputer in the United States.
Designed by IBM and Nvidia, Summit is powered by Power 9 processors and Tensor Core GPUs.
The machine occupies an area about the size of two tennis courts, is located at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, and can use up to 13MW of power by firing all cylinders. The new IT architecture combines its AI computing capabilities with those of traditional high performance computing.
This supercomputer has notably enabled the United States to overtake China's advances in the field.
Summit can be used to build scientific models and simulations while at the same time dealing with machine learning workloads. This greatly opens up possibilities in supercomputer-assisted scientific research. The total contract cost for the system is $ 280 million.
These costs include "maintenance and all possible options," Katie Bethea, Outreach Project Manager for ORNL, wrote in an email to Data Center Knowledge. The 830 square meters of data center that the Summit occupies was part of the lab's computational science building, specifically renovated to accommodate the new system.
A super powerful computer
Summit can perform 200 quadrillion calculations per second, or 200 petaflops. The world's fastest supercomputer so far has been the Sunway TaihuLight system at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China, capable of 93.01 petaflops. The world's supercomputers are ranked twice a year by the Top500 nonprofit.
Sunway TaihuLight has consecutively dominated the previous four editions of the Top500 list but will likely be dethroned for the first time in two years by Summit. In the opinion of Paresh Kharya, director of product management and marketing for accelerated computing at Nvidia, Summit is "the most powerful and intelligent supercomputer in the world." "
The next edition of Top500 is expected to be released towards the end of this June.