US scientists have unveiled the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer that can complete over 200,000 trillion calculations per second – providing unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence (AI). The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) supercomputer called Summit will be eight times more powerful than its previous top-ranked system, Titan.
For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion billion mixed precision calculations per second, or 3.3 exaops. “Summit will empower scientists to address a wide range of new challenges, accelerate discovery, spur innovation and above all, benefit the American people,” said Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy. The IBM AC922 system consists of 4,608 compute servers, each containing two 22-core IBM Power9 processors and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphics processing unit accelerators, interconnected with dual-rail Mellanox EDR 100 Gb/s InfiniBand.
Summit also possesses more than 10 petabytes of memory paired with fast, high-bandwidth pathways for efficient data movement. The combination of cutting-edge hardware and robust data subsystems marks an evolution of the hybrid CPU-GPU architecture successfully pioneered by the 27-petaflops Titan in 2012. ORNL researchers have figured out how to harness the power and intelligence of Summit’s state-of-art architecture to successfully run the world’s first exascale scientific calculation.
Scientists led by ORNL’s Dan Jacobson and Wayne Joubert has leveraged the intelligence of the machine to run a 1.88 exaops comparative genomics calculation relevant to research in bioenergy and human health.
The mixed precision exaops calculation produced identical results to more time-consuming 64-bit calculations previously run on Titan. In addition to scientific modeling and simulation, Summit offers unparalleled opportunities for the integration of AI and scientific discovery, enabling researchers to apply techniques like machine learning and deep learning to problems in human health, high-energy physics, materials discovery and other areas.
“Summit takes accelerated computing to the next level, with more computing power, more memory, an enormous high-performance file system and fast data paths to tie it all together. That means researchers will be able to get more accurate results faster,” said Jeff Nichols, ORNL associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences. “Summit’s AI-optimised hardware also gives researchers an incredible platform for analyzing massive datasets and creating intelligent software to accelerate the pace of discovery,” he said.