Computers

Frontier breaks the exascale threshold to take top supercomputer spot

Frontier breaks the exascale t...
ORNL's Frontier supercomputer has been confirmed the world's fastest at 1.1 exaflops
ORNL's Frontier supercomputer has been confirmed the world's fastest at 1.1 exaflops
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ORNL's Frontier supercomputer has been confirmed the world's fastest at 1.1 exaflops
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ORNL's Frontier supercomputer has been confirmed the world's fastest at 1.1 exaflops
The Frontier system is made up of 74 purpose-built cabinets containing more than 9,400 AMD-based nodes, 700 petabytes of storage and 90 miles of networking cables
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The Frontier system is made up of 74 purpose-built cabinets containing more than 9,400 AMD-based nodes, 700 petabytes of storage and 90 miles of networking cables
In spite of many pandemic-related supply chain issues, installation of the Frontier supercomputer system began late 2021 and is expected to be open for science business in early 2023
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In spite of many pandemic-related supply chain issues, installation of the Frontier supercomputer system began late 2021 and is expected to be open for science business in early 2023
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The US Department of Energy's Frontier supercomputer has been crowned world's fastest at the International Supercomputing Conference 2022 in Hamburg, Germany, and is the first system to enter the exascale era of computing.

The US Department of Energy partnered with Cray Inc in 2019 to build a new supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which already housed the Titan and Summit supercomputers – the latter being the most powerful until it was surpassed by Japan's Fugaku in 2020.

Where other members at the higher end of the Top 500 list of supercomputers are impressively fast calculators, with Fugaku managing over 415,000 trillion floating point operations per second, ORNL's system completely overshadows previous computational efforts by quite a margin.

The Frontier supercomputer breaks through the exaflop threshold to perform 1.102 quintillion calculations per second, measured by High-Performance Linpack Benchmark tests. And mixed-precision performance clocked by the High-Performance Linpack-Accelerator Introspection test – which "measures calculation speeds in the computing formats typically used by the machine-learning methods that drive advances in artificial intelligence" – shows the supercomputer operating at around 6.88 exaflops.

The Frontier system is made up of 74 purpose-built cabinets containing more than 9,400 AMD-based nodes, 700 petabytes of storage and 90 miles of networking cables
The Frontier system is made up of 74 purpose-built cabinets containing more than 9,400 AMD-based nodes, 700 petabytes of storage and 90 miles of networking cables

"Frontier is ushering in a new era of exascale computing to solve the world’s biggest scientific challenges," said Thomas Zacharia, RNL Director. "This milestone offers just a preview of Frontier’s unmatched capability as a tool for scientific discovery."

Indeed, ORNL is still in the process of testing and validating, with the Frontier system expected to be made available for full science duty toward the beginning of next year.

The supercomputer is made up of 74 purpose-built HPE Cray EX supercomputer cabinets with more than 9,400 AMD CPUs and over 37,000 GPUs, 700 petabytes of data storage offering peak write speeds of 5 terabytes per second, energy efficient liquid cooling that sees some 6,000 gallons (22,700+ L) of water pumped through the system every minute, and 90 miles (~145 km) of network cables. It's reckoned to have a theoretical peak performance of two exaflops.

The bi-annual Green500 rankings also have a new energy efficiency champion, with the Frontier Test & Development System – which is essentially just a single rack identical to those making up the more powerful Frontier system – taking the top spot for mixed-precision computing at 62.68 gigaflops per watt. Meanwhile, the main Frontier system sits in second place with a power efficiency of 55.23 gigaflops per watt.

The video below has more.

Frontier: The World's First Exascale Supercomputer Has Arrived

Source: ONRL

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4 comments
4 comments
Nelson Hyde Chick
I understand we are going to be dropping a trillion dollars to upgrade our nuclear weapons, and I guess this is part of that.
TpPa
I sure hope they are reusing the 6000 gallons of water per minute
Where as one might say what do you need something that fast for, well not for video games I'm guessing, but to find new everything, and run so many trials to find the right way to make a new drug, new jet design, new energy etc. Oh, and to keep up with the Jone's
WB1200
Not sure this is powerful enough to run SolidWorks without it being bogy and crashing constantly:-P
tony27
But can it run Crysis?