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IBM Systems. Reaching the Summit: The World's Smartest Supercomputer 2018.06.12

Armonk, NY, USA - June 08, 2018 - The Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has reached speeds of 200 petaflops. The most powerful computer on the planet. The IBM-built Summit supercomputer is the world's smartest and most powerful supercomputer. Each node contains two IBM POWER9 CPUs and six NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. Summit will help us model supernovas, pioneer new materials and explore cancer, genetics and the environment - using technologies available to all businesses.

Summit supercomputer nodes
The IBM-built Summit supercomputer is the world's smartest and most powerful AI machine.
With 4,600 individual nodes, it could fill two tennis courts
Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL

The most powerful computer on the planet

The Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has reached speeds of 200 petaflops.

Summit will help us model supernovas, pioneer new materials and explore cancer, genetics and the environment — using technologies available to all businesses.

MIT President, Dr. L Rafael Reif (on left) and IBM Senior Vice President, Cognitive Solutions and Research, Dr. John Kelly III (on right).
Photo courtesy of IBM Research
John Kelly, SVP, Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research

“Supercomputing is the Formula One of computing. It’s where companies test bleeding-edge technology at an unprecedented scale.”

June 08, 2018

By Dr. John E. Kelly, III
SVP, Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research

Today is a major milestone for humanity, and a proud day for IBM.

With the U.S. government’s unveiling of “Summit” — the world’s most powerful and smartest artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer — a major computing milestone has been reached.


This is the result of years of dedication and innovation by IBMers around the world.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to introduce Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer.
Photo courtesy of NVIDIA
Summit is a game changer.

It is capable of performing 200 quadrillion calculations per second — or 200 petaflops — making it the fastest in the world.

Interior of a Summit node
The IBM-built Summit supercomputer is the world's smartest and most powerful supercomputer.
Each node contains two IBM POWER9 CPUs and six NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.
Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL
But this system has never been just about speed.

Summit is also optimized for AI in a data-intense world.
We designed a whole new heterogeneous architecture that integrates the robust data analysis of powerful IBM Power CPUs with the deep learning capabilities of GPUs.


The result is unparalleled performance on critical new applications.

Summit Supercomputer - Summit storage, racks, and cooling
The IBM-built Summit supercomputer is the world's smartest and most powerful supercomputer. Over 4,000 gallons of water are pumped per minute to dissipate its heat
Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL
So, what can we do with that kind of power?

This project has always been about pushing the boundaries of innovation and technology to solve what was previously unsolvable.

For instance, with this system we can make connections and predictions that will help us advance cancer research, understand genetic factors that contribute to opioid addiction, simulate atomic interactions to develop stronger, more energy efficient materials, and better understand supernovas to explore the origins of the universe.

Summit storage
The IBM-built Summit supercomputer is the world's smartest and most powerful AI machine. Its racks are connected by over 185 miles of fiber optic cables.
Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL
This is IBM at its best.

With these supercomputers, we bring together our most advanced technologies, architectures and thinking in one place in a very focused way.
For IBM, when we take on these big bets (as we did in 2014 with this contract for the U.S. Department of Energy), we know it’s an opportunity to leapfrog ahead.

Larger view of Summit at ORNL
The IBM-built Summit supercomputer is the world's smartest and most powerful supercomputer.
It weighs over 340 tons, more than a commercial aircraft
Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL
This is not the first time we have moved the whole technology world forward in supercomputing.

From Deep Blue to Blue Gene, IBM supercomputers pioneered massively parallel processing and broke the petaflop barrier that led to breakthroughs in everything from weather prediction to oil exploration.
It’s exciting to consider what our latest supercomputer — one that combines high-performance computing and AI — might deliver in the form of answers to the world’s most difficult questions.

Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL
And for the first time, we are making the same architecture that powers Summit available in commercial form.
Clients are already using the same hybrid architecture in our business product line with the IBM Power Systems AC922 system, and the family of new IBM POWER9-based servers.
The result: business computing that can help every industry advance their products and services, from banking, to healthcare, to retail, to transportation.

While Summit may be the fastest supercomputer in the world, for now, it is expected to be passed by Frontier, a new supercomputer slated to be delivered to ORNL in 2021 with an expected peak performance of 1 exaflop, or 1,000 petaflops.
Photo courtesy of IBM Systems / ORNL
Technology, and the tools we build with it, have always had the power to change the future.

Today’s introduction of Summit, demonstrates yet again, that IBM is helping to lead the way.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.
Photo courtesy of ORNL

Source: IBM News Room


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