IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory today announced ‘Summit’, a supercomputer that promises to be the most powerful and intelligent ever created.
According to the Oak Ridge press release, Summit has a maximum throughput of 200,000 billion calculations per second or 200 petaflops. This supercomputer will be up to eight times more powerful than the lab’s previous system, the Titan.
The institution said that if used for certain scientific tasks, this computer is capable of performing up to 3 billion mixed accuracy calculations per second. Summit will offer unprecedented computing power in energy research, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other domains, enabling scientific discoveries that were not previously possible.
On the occasion of the announcement, Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy, said:
Today’s launch of the Summit supercomputer demonstrates the strength of America’s leadership in scientific innovation and technological development. It will have a profound impact on energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness and national security.
For its part, IBM said that it has worked for several years in the development of this computer, which has 4,608 computer servers with two IBM Power9 chipsets of 22 cores and 6 Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs each. In addition, the system has more than 10 petabytes of memory.
With Nvidia’s GPUs, the system is focused on automatic learning and deep learning applications, as well as high-performance computing work that is common in power research and advanced materials.
Summit is one of two supercomputers that IBM is building for the U.S. Department of Energy. The second is Sierra, which will be located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sierra could arrive this year, however, it has less power than Summit. In any case, both systems are more powerful than any other machine currently present in the Department.