Note: This story was last updated at 6 p.m. June 9.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory again has the world’s most powerful supercomputer. It’s also the world’s smartest supercomputer, a machine that can learn—and run software that will write software.
The supercomputer, called Summit, is capable of 200 petaflops, or 200,000 trillion calculations per second. During a Friday afternoon ceremony, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Summit can save 30 years worth of desktop data in one hour. It is millions times faster than a really good high-end desktop, said Ginni Rometty, IBM chair, president, and chief executive officer.
A water-cooled IBM system, Summit is presumed to have bumped China from the top spot, at least among open-science systems or supercomputers that aren’t classified. It has successfully run the world’s first exascale scientific calculation.
“We know we’re in competition, and it matters who gets there first,” Perry told several hundred people at the Friday afternoon ceremony at ORNL, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory. “We reached a pinnacle today.”
Researchers at ORNL could find the cure for Alzheimer’s disease or cancer, Perry said. Winning the global supercomputing race could have benefits for all of humanity, said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder, president, and CEO. [Read more…]