U.S. scientists and collaborators have a powerful new instrument at their disposal—the world’s first exascale supercomputer. The international Top500 list of most powerful systems in the world named the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science system Frontier the world’s fastest supercomputer. Frontier broke the exascale limit, reaching 1.1 exaflops of performance on the High-Performance Linpack benchmark. Exascale performance is measured by calculations faster than 1018 floating point operations per second (flops), or a quintillion calculations per second.
Located at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Frontier is a collaboration between DOE and U.S. technology companies HPE and AMD. This milestone marks the beginning of the long-awaited exascale era, following more than 10 years of research and development by the nation’s brightest minds—not only for Frontier but other upcoming DOE exascale systems.
Exascale systems will provide the next-generation of computing desperately needed for the massive number crunching required for climate change research and prediction, materials design for energy technologies and fusion reactors, a stronger and more adaptive power grid, the data-driven design of new COVID treatments, rapid data analysis for scientific facilities such as light sources, and many other challenges in energy, environment, and national security.