Intel, Cray, the U.S. Department of Energy are to deliver the first supercomputer with a performance of one exaFLOP in the United States.
The system being developed at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, named “Aurora,” will be used to advance scientific research. The contract is valued at $500 million and will be delivered to Argonne National Laboratory in 2021.
The Aurora system’s exaFLOP of performance – equal to a quintillion floating point computations per second – combined with an ability to handle both traditional high-performance computing and artificial intelligence will give researchers a set of tools to address research projects ranging from developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations, discovering new approaches for drug response prediction, and discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells.
The foundation of the Aurora supercomputer will be new Intel technologies designed specifically for the convergence of artificial intelligence and high-performance computing at extreme computing scale.
These include a future generation of the Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel’s Xe compute architecture, a future generation of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, and Intel’s One API software.
Aurora will use Cray’s next-generation supercomputer system, code-named Shasta, which will comprise more than 200 cabinets and include Cray’s Slingshot high-performance scalable interconnect and the Shasta software stack optimised for Intel architecture.
“There is tremendous scientific benefit to our nation that comes from collaborations like this one with the Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, and industry partners Intel and Cray,” said Argonne National Laboratory Director Paul Kearns. “Argonne’s Aurora system is built for next-generation artificial intelligence and will accelerate scientific discovery by combining high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to address real world problems, such as improving extreme weather forecasting, accelerating medical treatments, mapping the human brain, developing new materials and further understanding the universe – and that is just the beginning.”