USA launches Summit supercomputer

11 June 2018

The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has unveiled a new supercomputer with a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations (200 petaflops) per second. The Summit supercomputer's power will be put to work in research in areas including energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence.

Summit (Image: DOE)

Summit is eight times more powerful than the USA's current top-ranked system, Titan, which is also housed at ORNL.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the launch of Summit would have a "profound" impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security. He said the supercomputer would help the USA towards its goal of delivering an exascale supercomputing system - that is, a system capable of at least one billion billion calculations per second - by 2021.

"Summit will empower scientists to address a wide range of new challenges, accelerate discovery, spur innovation, and above all, benefit the American people," he said.

The IBM AC922 system consists of 4608 servers, each containing two 22-core IBM Power 9 processors and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphic processing unit accelerators with Mellanox interconnections. The combination of hardware and software is an evolution of the architecture successfully deployed in Titan in 2012.

Summit was one amongst the projects to receive USD325 million of funding announced in 2014 by then-Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Summit will be open to select projects this year while ORNL and IBM work through the acceptance process for the machine. In 2019, the bulk of access to the IBM system will go to research teams selected through DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) programme.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News