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US plans to build a $600M exascale supercomputer

2019-05-07 17:17 by
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The United States government plans to build yet another, faster exascale supercomputer, after it already announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer less than two months ago. The Frontier supercomputer will be capable of completing more than 1.5 quintillion calculations per second, according to the US Department of Energy.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Cray Inc. have been awarded a $600 million contract to develop the computer. It is planned to be the size of about two basketball courts and will be about 50 times faster than today's fastest supercomputers. AMD will provide both the main processors, or CPUs, and the graphics processors, or GPUs.

Frontier is scheduled to be completed and delivered to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2021. Scientists and engineers will use Frontier for a wide variety of projects including climate change forecasting, predicting the path of hurricanes and developing new pharmaceuticals. The supercomputer will also be used to model fusion energy sources, simulate combustion engine systems and conduct cosmology simulations for the distribution of billions of galaxies.

"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," Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a statement. "Frontier will accelerate innovation in AI by giving American researchers world-class data and computing resources to ensure the next great inventions are made in the United States."

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