World’s fastest supercomputer will be built for US Department of Energy by AMD and Cray till 2021.
The machine named Frontier will be built for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Frontier should be able to perform 1.5 quintillion calculations per second, a level called 1.5 exaflops. It will be used to perform complex calculations in the field of Nuclear and climate research.
The Frontier will cost $600 million to build. Frontier falls in the category called “exascale computing.” This is the next-generation of computing capacity, in which processing power is measured in exaflops, or quintillions of calculations per second. A quintillion is a one with a whopping eighteen zeros behind it: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. “Frontier’s record-breaking performance will ensure our country’s ability to lead the world in science that improves the lives and economic prosperity of all Americans and the entire world,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in a press statement.
Frontier will be able to process 100,000 HD movies in a second. It can handle 24,000,000 times greater data bandwidth than an average home internet connection. Frontier has a huge footprint. It will take up 7,300 square feet of space. Frontier will weigh as much as 35 school buses.
Frontier isn’t the only exascale computer the US is currently building either. Intel and Cray are also building Supercomputer Arora in Argonne National Laboratory. Aurora will likely be the first exascale supercomputer in the US. In terms of power, Frontier will be powerful than Arora.
These machines don’t necessarily mean the US is the world’s greater computing power, though. China is expected to have its own exascale supercomputer up and running by 2020. China is also the world’s leader in terms of supercomputer volume and is currently home to 227 of the world’s fastest computers where the US only have 109. Japan and the European Union are the other main contenders in the race.
It has been quite some time since AMD was inside the No.1 supercomputer. It is a big win for AMD. Not only Frontier is powered by EPYC processor, but it will also have Radeon Instinct GPUs too.