Let’s Talk Exascale: Guiding the Construction of Frontier’s Mechanical Systems

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David Grant

In this episode of the Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, David Grant, high performance computing (HPC) engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, talks with the lab’s Scott Gibson about Frontier, the nation’s first exascale supercomputer scheduled to be installed by the end of this year. Grant, who works in ORNL’s Laboratory Modernization Division is responsible for ensuring that supercomputers installed at the lab have the cooling capacity required to operate 24/7.

“Being able to stage on the needed equipment to cool (Frontier’s) kind of load swing and maintain a supply temperature within a tight envelope is a challenge that we’re going to be working through as we get the system online…,” Grant said. “…since Frontier is water cooled, the air-side cooling requirements for the compute cabinets themselves is minimal. Its cabinets are basically closed hot boxes with water going in and out with no fans, and so the cabinets themselves are quiet, which is a major change from a typical data center.