Call it the most powerful scientific tool ever built. Call it a new era of computing. Just don’t call it slow, because whatever number you look at, Summit is flat-out fast.
This massive machine, powered by 27,648 of Volta Tensor Core GPUs(Ultrafast), can perform more than three examples (3 billion billion calculations per second). That’s more than 100 times faster than Titan, previously the fastest U.S. supercomputer completed just five years ago. And 95 percent of that computing power comes from GPUs.
The machine designed to tackle the grand challenges of our time. Mostly to be used by the US Department of Energy. It will accelerate the work of the world’s best scientists in high-energy physics, materials discovery, healthcare and more, with the ability to crank out 200 petaflops of computing power to high-precision scientific simulations.
This is, literally, a scientific time machine.
Almost a decade ago the team at Oak Ridge was the first in the US to realize that a new kind of computing was needed. The old era of piling one transistor on top of another wouldn’t deliver the efficiency they needed.
Obviously, we are not talking about normal people here! As long as our games work we are fine.
They took a risk and built Titan in 2012, the world’s fastest supercomputer, with one GPU in every node. It paid off well. Now over 550 HPC applications are accelerated with GPUs, and all of the 15 most widely used ones. Their work reshaped supercomputing.
This was the next step
Summit is the next chapter. And just as Titan inspired the world to accelerate simulations, Summit will inspire the world’s scientists to harness AI to drive discovery hand in hand with simulation.
While Summit will share it DNA with AI, it will work at speeds like no other. Researchers will be able to use the simplified calculations, known as half-precision, or FP16, to boost Summit’s performance about 15x to exascale levels — more than a billion billion operations per second.
That’s deeply shocking, in a good way of course.
What Summit Will Do for Science?
This speed will let today’s generation of scientists accomplish wonders. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is already a playground for cutting-edge science, and its campus is a hub for scientists eager to harness its machines to do their best work.
1. Cancer Research
2. Fusion Energy
3. Disease and Addiction
How big of a leap is this?
Using techniques like machine learning and deep learning at a massive scale, scientists will achieve breakthroughs on Summit that will boost our economy, improve our healthcare and help deliver limitless energy. This could help save the planet, and that’s why we need faster supercomputers.
And that’s why the next great computing challenge has already been set: building the world’s first exascale accelerated supercomputer. We’re already racing to help get this done, so the scientists and researchers of the world can continue racing forward.
So to sum it all up
1. At 200 petaflops — If everyone on Earth did 1 calculation/second, it would take 1 year to do what Summit does in 1 second.
2. At 3 examples of AI — If everyone on Earth did 1 calculation/second, it would take 15 years to do what Summit can do in 1 second.
3. In an early test, a genomics team solved a problem in 1 hour that would take 30 years on a PC.
4. Its 5,600 square feet of cabinet space is similar in size to two tennis courts.
5. Summit has the approximate weight of a commercial jet.