World's fastest supercomputer goes live

Written by NTN staff

The ORNL Summit supercomputer, designed with NVIDIA’s Volta GPUs and IBM’s Power9 CPUs, is now operational and the fastest supercomputer in the world.

Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the world’s most powerful supercomputer, called Summit, was built by IBM, NVidia, and the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Summit comprises 4,608 servers with 9,216 IBM Power9 processors, powered by a massive 27,648 Nvidia Volta graphics chips. Capable of over 200 petaflops (200 quadrillion operations per second), Summit will be more than 100 times faster than Titan, the previous fastest computer that came out five years ago.

This supercomputer also recaptures the top-performing spot for the United States for the first time since 2013. China has for the last few years held top honours in the supercomputing world with the Sunway TaihuLight.

In practice, such computational power with much quicker problem solving. As an example, Summit solved a genomics problem in about an hour that would take a single high-performance PC more than 30 years.

The DOE designed Summit to tackle real problems, especially world-changing problems, to help accelerate scientists’ work in physics, material creation, health care and more. The DOE said that the supercomputer already has a full schedule working on complex tasks for advancing scientific research.