200,000 trillion calculations per second: US launches the worl

Monday, 11 Jun, 2018

As helpfully defined by the New York Times, these kind of computing speeds would require a really smart - and long-lived - human performing one calculation each second to stay alive for over 6.3 billion years to do what Summit is capable of doing in a single second. That would also mark the first time since 2012 that a USA -based supercomputer holds the top spot on that list. The hope is that Summit will drive developments for so-called "exascale" computers that could handle a billion billion calculations per second by the 2020s, Technologyreview.com reported. During a Friday afternoon ceremony, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Summit can save 30 years worth of desktop data in one hour.

Like Titan, Summit has a hybrid architecture with each of its 4,600 nodes containing multiple IBM Power9 CPUs and Nvidida Volta GPUs, connected together with Nvidia's NVLink.

The computer was designed for artificial intelligence operations and can be used to power research into health, physics and climate modeling, among other domains. It takes more than 15,000 liters to cool down the supercomputer and a massive electricity consumption equivalent to 8,100 American homes to power it up.

Both Sierra and Summit are scheduled to go online sometime this year and will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S's arsenal of supercomputers. If it was full, and everyone in it had a modern laptop, it would take 20 stadiums full of similarly equipped people to match the computing firepower of the Summit.

Scientists are already training Summit to read documents and abstract information to identify hidden disease factors like genes, biological markers and environment for cancer surveillance. More detailed information is presented on the pages of MIT Technology Review. These patterns can collectively give rise to clinical phenotypes, observable traits of diseases such as Alzheimer's, heart disease or addiction, and inform the drug discovery process.

The newest instrument in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's scientific arsenal is a mammoth, liquid-cooled supercomputer sprawled over an eighth of an acre that is being hailed as the fastest in the world. Overall, the entire setup is intended for deep learning as well as machine learning applications. "Summit is enabling a whole new range of science that was simply not possible before it arrived".

The Chinese government's aggressive push to become the leader in technologies such as artificial intelligence, microchips and cellular networks has ignited a rivalry with the United States, the traditional front-runner in the digital realm.