Intel Corporation and the US Department of Energy (DOE) will deliver the first supercomputer with a performance of one exaFLOP in the United States. The system being developed at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, named “Aurora,” will be used to advance scientific research and discovery. The contract is valued at more than $500 million and will be delivered to Argonne National Laboratory by Intel and sub-contractor Cray Inc. in 2021.
The Aurora system’s exaFLOP of performance—equal to a quintillion floating point computations per second—combined with an ability to handle both traditional high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) will give researchers an unprecedented set of tools to address scientific problems at exascale.
These breakthrough research projects range from developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations, discovering new approaches for drug response prediction and discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells.
The foundation of the Aurora supercomputer will be new Intel technologies designed specifically for the convergence of artificial intelligence and high-performance computing at extreme computing scale. These include a future generation of the Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel’s Xe compute architecture, a future generation of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, and Intel’s One API software.
Aurora will use Cray’s next-generation supercomputer system, code-named “Shasta,” which will comprise more than 200 cabinets and include Cray’s Slingshot high-performance scalable interconnect and the Shasta software stack optimized for Intel architecture.