Blog: Introducing The Fastest Supercomputer in U.S. History: Aurora
On March 18, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new supercomputer, Aurora, is projected to be finished in 2021 and reside in Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Illinois.
Once Aurora reaches Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory will be the first to experience exascale-level processing, quintillion calculations per second.
The $500 million project is being worked on by the DOE, Intel, and Cray, supercomputer manufacturer.
Aurora is expected to top Summit, the world’s current fastest supercomputer located in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, by both speed and size.
A supercomputer’s performance is measured in flops, which are calculations per second. An ordinary laptop or desktop normally measures several teraflops — trillions of calculations per second.
Summit reaches 150 petaflops, which is thousands of times faster than your average computer.
Aurora’s exascale complex is expected to be able to conduct quintillion calculations per second. The speed is a million times faster than any desktop or laptop!
Similar to the speed, Aurora’s size will also increase dramatically.
Currently, Summit’s entire computing system is able to fit within the size of two tennis courts.
Aurora will be five times the size of Summit, making it equivalent to 10 tennis courts!
Many advancements and contributions to the technical field are to come when developers of Aurora finish its design and begin functioning with it.
Because of its ability to process an abundant amount of calculations, Aurora’s speed will help display and determine information precisely and efficiently.
The new computer will provide advancements ranging from gauging climate manifestations to discovering new cancer drugs.
Aurora will help narrow climate modeling to neighborhoods rather than broadening to cities by advancing instruments like telescopes.
The main contribution Aurora will bring will be its integration with artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence is the ability for a computer program to process, think and learn similar to human intelligence.
The usage of artificial intelligence will help to model information and run simulations methodically. Rather than categorizing cancer drugs by possible side effects, Aurora will use artificial intelligence to classify them into sequences correlating to specific patients, which will be most promising.
There is a fierce, global competition to be the first nation to have the world’s fastest supercomputer.
By 2020, China plans to have its own exascale supercomputer running. Also, by 2021, Japan aims to have theirs working.
The race for an exascale supercomputer is caused by the need to have the greatest amount of knowledge. Advancing supercomputers can lead to bettering several attributes of a society.
Aurora’s arrival will help to reinvent the way America analyzes information and functions as a society.