TENNESSEE,US – US Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Lab and IBM has unveiled its new supercomputer–‘Summit’. Since 2013, Chinese Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer had occupied the number one slot. In the world’s top supercomputers charts 2017 – US owned 143 while China owned 202 of the top 500 supercomputers. Titan the US’s previous fastest supercomputer was ranked fifth. Summit is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, where it was developed in partnership with IBM and Nvidia. It fills an area around the size of two tennis courts and weighing in at over 340 tons and circulates 4,000 gallons of water per minute through its cooling system dispensing away nearly 13 megawatts of heat from the system.

Cheetah’s rebirth

Summit is twice as powerful as the current world leader and almost eight times as fast as the Titan. It has the top speed of 200 Petaflops or 200 million billion calculations per second as compared to 93 petaflops of TaihuLight. Summit can carry out over 3 billion billion mixed precision calculations per second, or 3.3 Exaflops as many calculations per second as 6.3 billion humans. Summit is also more energy-efficient, drawing just 13 megawatts of power, compared to the 15 megawatts TaihuLight pulls in. The team at Oak Ridge says Summit is the first supercomputer which can run AI processes, such as machine learning and neural networks. The $200 million supercomputer has over 27,000 GPU chips from Nvidia, and six Nvidia Tesla V100 graphics processing unit accelerators each, some of IBM’s Power9 chips and IBM AC922 system utilizing 4,608 compute servers containing two 22-core IBM Power9 processors. There’s also an ultrafast 185 miles of fiber-optic cables communications link for shipping data between these silicon workhorses.

“Summit’s computing capacity is so powerful that it has the ability to calculate 30 years’ worth of data saved on a desktop in one hour… this is about changing the world.” said US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, speaking at the ORNL event. Current applications of Summit are in cancer research, astrophysics, study of genes (genomics), understanding opioid addiction, system biology and in advanced climate modelling.

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