AMD and Cray Team-Up to Build the World’s Fastest Supercomputer

/ 5 years ago
AMD and Cray Team-Up to Build the World's Fastest Supercomputer

US Government Announces Project

The US Department of Energy is announcing that they have tapped AMD to create the world’s fastest supercomputer. The chip company is doing this in collaboration with supercomputer manufacturer Cray for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Dubbed “Frontier”, it will go online by 2021 and will have 1.5 exaflops of processing power. Such capacity represents a thousandfold increase over the first petascale computer that came into operation in 2008.

AMD and Cray Team-Up to Build the World's Fastest Supercomputer

To put this in perspective, one exaflop is equivalent to one billion billion calculations per second (called quintillion). That is one with 18 zeroes behind it.

For now, the world’s most powerful supercomputer is the Summit (OLCF-4) made by IBM. It comprises of 9,216 POWER9 22-core CPUs with 27,648 NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs producing 200 petaflops (peak). Meanwhile, Frontier will be using AMD’s EPYC CPUs with Radeon Instinct GPUs.

AMD and Cray Team-Up to Build the World's Fastest Supercomputer

“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,” says Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in a press statement.

How Does This Compare to Intel’s Aurora Supercomputer?

Frontier is of course, not the only current exascale supercomputer on the way. Cray is also working with Intel to create “Aurora” at Argonne National Laboratory.

Aurora will go online earlier than AMD’s Frontier and will be the first exascale computer in the US. However, Frontier will be much more powerful.

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