Video: 25 Years of Supercomputing at Oak Ridge

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In this video, scientists and researchers recount the 25 years of supercomputing at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).

Twenty-five years ago, established computing architectures in the United States were approaching their limits, while the country’s need for computing power to solve challenging problems in science, energy, and national security continued to grow. Out of this period of technological transition emerged the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a US Department of Energy(DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

This year, the OLCF is celebrating 25 years at the forefront of high-performance computing, recognizing the technical accomplishments and scientific achievements that have marked the OLCF’s history since its 1992 founding as the Center for Computational Sciences.

Since its early days, the OLCF has consistently delivered supercomputers of unprecedented capability to the scientific community on behalf of DOE—contributing to a rapid evolution in scientific computing that has produced a millionfold increase in computing power. This rise has included the launch of the first teraflop system (IBM Power3 Eagle) for open science, the science community’s first petaflop system (Cray XT5 Jaguar), and two top-ranked machines on the TOP500 list, including the OLCF’s current leadership-class machine, Titan. Additionally, the next chapter in the OLCF’s legacy is set to begin with the deployment of Summit, a pre-exascale system capable of more than five times the performance of Titan.

Scientists, in turn, have used these versatile systems to expand the scale and scope of research, fill crucial gaps in scientific knowledge, and solve critical problems in areas as diverse as biology, advanced materials, climate, and nuclear physics. Over the years, these contributions have helped to solidify modeling and simulation as an essential standard of modern science.

For more on the OLCF’s history, see the interactive timeline.

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