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Video: Researchers Step Up with the New Summit Supercomputer

In this video, researchers describe how the new Summit supercomputer at ORNL will move science forward with unprecedented computational power. Summit, an IBM AC922 system, links more than 27,000 NVIDIA Volta GPUs with more than 9,000 IBM Power9 CPUs to provide unprecedented opportunities for the integration of artificial intelligence and scientific discovery.

“The biggest problems in science require supercomputers of unprecedented capability. That’s why the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) launched Summit, a system 8 times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system Titan. Summit is providing scientists with incredible computing power to solve challenges in energy, artificial intelligence, human health, and other research areas, that were simply out of reach until now. These discoveries will help shape our understanding of the universe, bolster US economic competitiveness, and contribute to a better future.”

Summit will be used for breakthrough science in many areas including:

For Fusion Energy. “We are developing XGC, coupled with other codes, to be a virtual fusion reactor that models the behavior of plasma-the hot gas medium in which particles generate fusion energy,” said CS Chang, a physicist from Princeton. “Understanding plasma behavior at a fundamental level is critical for fusion experiments like ITER, which may help meet global energy demand by using seawater to fuel plasma in a fusion device without contributing to the greenhouse effect or producing long-term waste. We plan to better predict the performance of fusion experiments by more realistically simulating particle behavior in a part of the plasma known as the edge that interacts with the interior of the device, or tokamak. Simulation of the edge part of a fusion reactor requires extreme scale computers due to the complexity of the problem.”

For fighting opioid addiction. “We’re trying to understand all the molecular interactions happening in a human cell that lead to the complex traits of an individual and whether those traits result in diseases like Alzheimer’s or conditions like chronic pain that can lead to opioid addiction,” said Dan Jacobson, a computational system biologist at ORNL. “For opioid addiction studies, we are collaborating with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to identify patients who have been exposed to opioids and either developed addiction or did not. By combining clinical records and the underlying genomic information for these patients, we can better understand the complex genetic architecture responsible for addiction.”

For designing better combustion engines. “Our focus is turbulent reacting flows in propulsion and power systems-or how combustion takes place in turbulent environments such as gas turbines or car engines,” says Joe Oefelein from the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Our code, RAPTOR, is a fluid dynamics solver that incorporates the multiscale and multiphysics processes at play in these systems. First, just because of the sheer size of the machine, Summit will allow us to work on problems that we haven’t been able to do before. Second, Summit will speed our time-to-solution, enabling us to carry out hundreds of runs with RAPTOR in a short time. This will enhance the information we get from our solutions by facilitating detailed parametric studies across a wide range of operating conditions.”

Watch the Summit launch event right here on insideHPC

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