Video: Announcing Summit – World’s Fastest Supercomputer with 200 Petaflops of Performance

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Today Energy Secretary Rick Perry unveiled Summit, the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Powered by IBM POWER9 processors, 27,648 NVIDIA GPUs, and Mellanox InfiniBand, the Summit supercomputer is also the first Exaop AI system on the planet.

This massive machine, powered by 27,648 of our Volta GPUs, can perform more than three exaops, or three billion billion calculations per second,” writes Ian Buck on the NVIDIA blog. “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. Built for the U.S. Department of Energy, this is a machine designed to tackle the grand challenges of our time. 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 200 petaflops of computing power to high precision scientific simulations.

IBM designed a whole new heterogeneous architecture for Summit that integrates the robust data analysis of powerful IBM POWER9 CPUs with the deep learning capabilities of GPUs,” writes Dr. John E. Kelly from IBM. “The result is unparalleled performance on critical new applications. And, IBM is selling this same technology in Summit to enterprises today.”

5 Facts About the World’s Fastest Supercomputer

  • At 200 petaflops – If everyone on Earth did 1 calculation/second, would take 1 year to do what Summit does in 1 second.
  • At 3 exaops of AI – If everyone on Earth did 1 calculation/second, would take 15 years to do what Summit can do in 1 second.
  • In an early test, a genomics team solved a problem in 1 hour that would take 30 years on a PC.
  • Its 5,600 sq ft of cabinet space are similar in size to 2 tennis courts.
  • Summit has the approximate weight of a commercial jet.

Summit takes GPU accelerated computing to the next level, with more computing power, more memory, an enormous high-performance file system, and fast data paths to tie it all together,” said James Hack, director of ORNL’s National Center for Computational Sciences. “That means researchers will be able to explore more complex phenomena at higher levels of fidelity in less time than with previous generations of supercomputer systems.”

Each node contains two IBM POWER9 CPUs and six NVIDIA Telsa GPUs.

Summit already has a full schedule, accelerating projects including:

  • Cancer Research: The DOE and National Cancer Institute are working on a program called CANcer Distributed Learning Environment (CANDLE). Their aim is to develop tools that can automatically extract, analyze, and sort existing health data to reveal previously hidden relationships between disease factors such as genes, biological markers, and the environment.
  • Fusion Energy: Fusion, the energy source powering the Sun, has long been touted for its promise of clean, abundant energy. Summit will be able to model a fusion reactor and its magnetically confined plasma, hastening commercial development.
  • Disease and Addiction: Researchers will use AI to identify patterns in the function and evolution of human proteins and cellular systems. These patterns can help us better understand Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or addiction, and inform the drug discovery process.

“Exa is a big number,” said NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang. “In terms of time, the age of the universe is only one half an exa number of seconds.”

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.

We are proud to accelerate the world-top HPC and AI supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a result of a great collaboration over the last few years between Oak Ridge National Laboratory, IBM, NVIDIA and us,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies. “Our InfiniBand smart accelerations and offload technology delivers highest HPC and AI applications performance, scalability, and robustness. InfiniBand enables organizations to maximize their data center return-on-investment and improve their total cost of ownership and, as such, it connects many of the top HPC and AI infrastructures around the world. We look forward to be part and to accelerate new scientific discoveries and advances in AI development, to be performed and enabled by Summit.”

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