The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) along with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced the launch of its latest and world’s fastest supercomputer named ‘Summit’. Summit was revealed at Friday at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
The supercomputer highlights a peak performance of tremendous 200,000 trillion calculations per second. That as fast as each of the planet’s 7.6 billion people doing 26 million calculations per second on a hand calculator. IBM has declared that ‘Summit’, at present, is the most powerful and intelligent scientific computer in the world. The production and working on the supercomputer has been carried for decades and it seems their efforts have well succeeded.
The features of the computer are the ones that have not been used in any computer yet. The attributes of the computer include 4,608 compute servers with two 22-core IBM Power9 chips and six Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs each. Its peak energy consumption is about 15 megawatts, enough to power more than 7,000 homes. In totality, the system also features over 10 petabytes of memory.
Due to the existence of Nvidia GPUs, it is quite clear that the scientific computer is signified to be utilized for machine learning and deep learning applications. Apart from this, it may also be used at Oak Ridge for scientific research into subjects like designing chemical formula, exploring new materials, investigating fusion energy, researching the universe through astrophysics and simulating the earth’s changing climate.
Jeff Nichols, ORNL associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences said, “Summit’s AI-optimized hardware also gives researchers an incredible platform for analyzing massive datasets and creating intelligent software to accelerate the pace of discovery.”
IBM was primarily responsible for providing materials and other important pieces of equipment for the manufacturing of Summit. But the company also made an association with other contractors such as Nvidia, RedHat and InfiniBand networking specialists Mellanox for the delivery of new machines. Designing and manufacturing a world-class supercomputer with end number of processors and technologies now is not as easy as it used to be earlier.
China was being ranked first till now for having the world’s fastest computer for the past five years but now, the entry of Summit will make the US stand first in the row. The performance of Summit is such that it will definitely come at the top of the list of Top 500 supercomputers when the list arrives later this month, defeating China and coming back yet again on the top after a long wait since 2012. IBM is also in process of building another computer for the United States named ‘Sierra‘ which is also scheduled to go online this year.