Which is the powerful supercomputer on the planet? — For last five years, the answer was China’s Sunway TaihuLight. And last Friday the answer just changed — a new player from America take up the position.
Summit — the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer — made in the USA — was unveiled by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on Friday.
The new American supercomputer built by IBM and Nvidia holds a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second or 200 petaflops, where Sunway TaihuLight can run only at 125 petaflops when at peak capacity. Also, Summit is eight times more powerful than Titan — previous US top-ranked supercomputer, housed at ORNL.
According to ORNL, Summit will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence (AI), among other domains, enabling scientific discoveries that were previously impractical or impossible.
In physical appearance, Summit takes up the size of two tennis courts. The beast is equipped with 4,608 computer servers with more than 9,000 22-core IBM Power9 processors and 27,0000 Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. For cooling mechanism, Summit uses around 15,000 liters of water per minute and the whole system requires electricity enough to power 8,000 homes.
A team of scientists at ORNL already leveraged the intelligence of this smartest scientific supercomputer to run the world’s first exascale scientific calculation — that’s one billion billion calculations per second (or one exaop). Remarkably Summit ran at 1.88 exaops to to analyze millions of genomes and also it is capable of go up to 3.3 exaops using mixed precision calculations.
According to researchers, by 2021 Summit can deliver a fully capable exascale computing ecosystem for broad scientific use.