Thursday, December 23, 2021

Supercomputers: Oak Ridge National Laboratory May Be First To 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second

From IEEE Spectrum, Dec. 23: 

Frontier Supercomputer to Usher in Exascale Computing 

In 2018, a new supercomputer called Summit was installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee. Its theoretical peak capacity was nearly 200 petaflops—that’s 200 thousand trillion floating-point operations per second. At the time, it was the most powerful supercomputer in the world, beating out the previous record holder, China’s Sunway TaihuLight, by a comfortable margin, according to the well-known Top500 ranking of supercomputers. (Summit is currently No. 2, a Japanese supercomputer called Fugaku having since overtaken it.)

In just four short years, though, demand for supercomputing services at Oak Ridge has outstripped even this colossal machine. “Summit is four to five times oversubscribed,” says Justin Whitt, who directs ORNL’s Leadership Computing Facility. “That limits the number of research projects that can use it.”

The obvious remedy is to get a faster supercomputer. And that’s exactly what Oak Ridge is doing. The new supercomputer being assembled there is called Frontier. When complete, it will have a peak theoretical capacity in excess of 1.5 exaflops.

The remarkable thing about Frontier is not that it will be more than seven times as powerful as Summit, stunning as that figure is. The remarkable thing is that it will use only twice the power. That’s still a lot of power—Frontier is expected to draw 29 megawatts, enough to power a town the size of Cupertino, Calif. But it’s a manageable amount, both in terms of what the grid there can supply and what the electricity bill will be.... 


Previously on Summit:
January 11, 2018
With the Summit Supercomputer, U.S. Could Retake Computing’s Top Spot (NVDA)
We've been babbling about this 'puter for three years, usually in the context of its use of NVIDIA GPU's and NV Link connections, more after the jump....
June 8, 2018
"IBM builds world’s most powerful supercomputer to crack AI" (IBM; NVDA)
First rate, focusing not just on the raw speed but the AI capabilities as well....
June 28, 2018
New GPU-Accelerated Supercomputers Change the Balance of Power on the TOP500
The 51st (25th anniversary) Top500 list was released June 25, 2018 in Frankfurt Germany.
Here's some of Top500's thinking on the latest list and the state of the art....

And many more