The US will soon lay claim to ownership of the world’s fastest supercomputer, a title it was stripped of by China in 2013.
On Friday, the world’s fastest supercomputer – Summit – made its debut at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The monster machine packs a staggering 27,648 Volta Tensor Core GPUs and 9,216 CPUs into 5,600 square feet of cabinet space that’s similar in size to two tennis courts. It weighs nearly as much as a commercial jetliner and is connected by 185 miles of fiber optic cables.
Oh, and it’s fast. Very fast.
According to Nvidia, the machine can perform 200 quadrillion floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). By comparison, China’s Sunway TaihuLight – officially the world’s fastest supercomputer – has a benchmark rating of 93 petaflops.
The machine, built for the US Department of Energy, will assist scientists with research in the fields of materials discovery, high-energy physics, healthcare and more.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang described Summit as the world’s largest AI supercomputer, a machine that learns. “Its software will write software, amazing software that no human can write.”
Top500, the organization that ranks the 400 most powerful supercomputers in the world, is set to update its rankings later this month.