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World’s next most powerful supercomputer

How fast could a supercomputer run? In a billion FLOPs and that’s the goal of the soon to be the fastest supercomputer in the world. The project is named Aurora and will be capable of unparallel supercomputing power. It will be able to perform one quintillion operations per second. Quintillion? Yes! And that’s a 10 with 18 zeros behind it (10,000,000,000,000,000,000). You still confused about its speed estimation? Don’t worry, Let’s bring it down and do a comparison with a regular desktop computer. When Aurora is compared to a desktop computer, its speed is a million times faster. The supercomputer will sit outside of town, just some few miles from Chicago, in the Argonne National Laboratory. The project promises to address and solve a lot of man’s most pressing computational needs using a newer approach (Artificial Intelligence).

Who is powering the project?

department of energy
cray


A powerhouse trio is the force behind this $500 million project i.e. (The money bag, the speed gear, and the craftsman). Funded by the U.S Department of Energy and contracted by chip giant Intel and Settle-based high-performance supercomputer manufacturer Cray. A nice collaboration as Intel and Cray have had a longstanding partnership in building advanced supercomputers. Although, the original plan for Aurora was a less powerful system with the aim to achieve regular supercomputing goals. Its focus was later shifted after a government mandate in 2017 for more attention on high-performance computing in the U.S, causing the birth of an idea world’s fastest supercomputer. The project was revisited and mapped out for a greater purpose and it will be set for use in 2021.

What new feature is Aurora bringing to supercomputing


Aurora will use a variety of technology including Intel future generation Xeon Scalable processors and optane memory. Unlike the current most powerful supercomputer in the world “SUMMIT”, Aurora is coming as a game changer with an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) capabilities to be able to analyze data and learn from it.

Purpose of Aurora


Hopefully, Aurora will not be used for nuclear weapons simulation. This is because it’s currently being built and will be housed in Argonne National Laboratory which is not a military base. Nevertheless, Aurora will be built for next-generation artificial intelligence and will accelerate scientific discovery which will address real-world problems, such as:

  • Discovery new approaches for drug response prediction
  • Accelerating medical treatment
  • Cancer research
  • Improving extreme weather forecasting
  • Understanding the universe better
  • Discovery materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells.

There’s no telling for now how long Aurora will dominate and reign as the world’s fastest supercomputer. Several world nations have supercomputers and the quest to have the fastest has been a goal with the effort to achieve it. Hopefully, the U.S. will hold the top two spots of the world’s fastest computer upon completion of Aurora. Although, rankings toggle frequently and China still dominate with a total of 227 supercomputers in the world as compared to the U.S with just 109. Nevertheless, supercomputing is not all about who owns the most or the most powerful but what difference is made and achieved.

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Team techablaze

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