Frontier’s supercomputer is currently the world’s fastest supercomputer.
This supercomputer can process more than a quintillion calculations per second.
This groundbreaking computer can lead to many breakthroughs in medicine, astronomy, and more.
Why is this important?
Supercomputers are mighty machines that are used for data-intensive, computation-heavy research.
Scientists use them to analyze genomes, map the human brain, simulate the formation of stars, and more.
For example, when the pandemic began, researchers used Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer at the time, to simulate how different compounds would attach to the coronavirus’ spike protein to prevent infection.
How are supercomputers ranked?
Twice a year since 1993, the TOP500 project has released a list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world.
To compile this list measures each system’s performance in FLOPS (floating-point operations per second).
What makes Frontier unique?
Frontier is the world’s first exascale computer, which can process more than a quintillion calculations per second.
It occupies a space of more than 4,000 square feet and includes 90 miles of cable and 74 cabinets, each weighing 8,000 pounds.
According to ORNL, creating a computer with that kind of power required a team of more than 100 people and millions of components.
The fastest supercomputer
Frontier has taken the top spot on the latest TOP500 list, and its score of 1.102 exaFLOPS on a benchmark test makes it the world’s first exascale computer.
It is already more than twice as powerful as the second-fastest supercomputer on the TOP500 list — Japan’s Fugaku.
Although Frontier is the world’s fastest supercomputer and the first to cross the exascale threshold according to the TOP500 list, China is suspected of having two exascale systems. It still needs to submit test results to the TOP500 team.
This blog post is based on information from Freethink.