In Race to Break a Quintillion (1018) Floating-Point Barrier
Last week the U.S. Department of Energy announced its next big supercomputer project AURURA that is expected to break the barrier of exaFLOP computation – a quintillion (1018) floating-point computations per second at its inception in 2021.
Awarded to a consortium between Intel and Cray Computing, the new supercomputer will cost more than half a billion dollars and be turned over to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.
Machine is due to be delivered and relying on technology that has yet to materialize is seen as an attempt to set a stake in the ground for performance in the international competition for the fastest supercomputer. The building blocks of Aurora will be a future generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, Intel Xe compute architecture and Intel One API software. Cray will contribute its next-generation Shasta high-performance switch fabric codenamed “Slingshot”.
Beside its supercomputing tasks, Aurora system will be built for next-generation Artificial Intelligence to address real world problems such as:
- improving extreme weather forecasting
- accelerating medical treatments through discovering new approaches for drug response prediction
- mapping the human brain
- developing new material – discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells
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