Frontier: OLCF’S Justin Whitt on Deploying the First Exascale Supercomputer

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In this installment of the Let’s Talk Exascale podcast series produced by the Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project, Justin Whitt, program director of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, discusses deployment of Frontier, the first U.S. exascale supercomputer. The system, built by HPE-Cray and powered by AMD microprocessors, is scheduled to be installed by the end of this year and to be operational next spring.

In this interview with  ECP Communications Specialist Scott Gibson, Whitt discusses Frontier’s capabilities, its unique characteristics, getting the physical space ready for Frontier, and more.

On the problems faced by the Frontier project team is working against an accelerated development schedule, Whitt said, “We have certainly had some challenges, for instance the scarcity of materials and parts brought on by the pandemic. But when we started down this road several years ago, we planned to have Frontier into the hands of the researchers next year, and we are 100 percent on track to do that. As we like to say, we are on scope, schedule, and budget. In fact, Frontier is being built inside our data center even as we speak.”