U.S. Department of Energy plans to counter China’s fastest supercomputer

The latest Top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet saw China snatch the top spot away from the United States. Now, there’s word that an IBM is working to put the U.S. back on top.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will apparently receive an IBM system known as Summit in early 2018, according to a report from computer world. While that would mean China could retain its title three more times in the interim, the computer far outclasses the reigning champion.

Top500 named the Sunway TaihuLight as the most powerful computer in the world as a result of its Linpack benchmark score of 73 petaflops. However, the system could theoretically reach a speed of up to 124.5 petaflops. Compare that to the horsepower expected of Summit: the rig will utilize IBM Power9 CPUs and Nvidia Volta GPUs to reach a theoretical peak of 200 petaflops.


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