Note: This story was last updated at 3 p.m. May 21.
The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced a contract with Cray Inc. to build the Frontier supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It is expected to be the world’s most powerful supercomputer when it debuts in 2021.
The contract with Cray is valued at more than $600 million for the system and technology development, a press release said.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry was at ORNL on Tuesday morning to make the announcement.
“This is a big deal,” Perry said. “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. Frontier will accelerate innovation in AI (artificial intelligence) by giving American researchers world-class data and computing resources to ensure the next great inventions are made in the United States.”
Besides the supercomputing announcement on Tuesday, Perry also delivered the keynote speech at InnovationXLab: Advanced Manufacturing Summit at ORNL.
Frontier is expected to perform at greater than 1.5 exaflops. It will be able to solve calculations up to 50 times faster than today’s top supercomputers, exceeding a quintillion, or 1018, calculations per second, the press release said. That’s a billion billion calculations per second.
Oak Ridge Today has previously reported that Frontier would be built at ORNL. But the contract with Cray and its value and the specific performance estimate of more than 1.5 exaflops are all new announcements. The contract award includes technology development funding, a center of excellence, several early-delivery systems, the main Frontier system, and multi-year systems support. The Frontier system is expected to be delivered in 2021, and acceptance is expected in 2022.[Read more…]