US Department of Energy and Intel to Deliver First Exascale Supercomputer

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (left) and Intel CEO Bob Swan are shown Monday, March 18, 2019, in Chicago at an announcement regarding the "Aurora" supercomputer. Intel will deliver the United States’ first exascale system to Argonne National Laboratory in 2021. (Credit: Argonne National Laboratory)

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (left) and Intel CEO Bob Swan are shown Monday, March 18, 2019, in Chicago at an announcement regarding the "Aurora" supercomputer. Intel will deliver the United States’ first exascale system to Argonne National Laboratory in 2021. (Credit: Argonne National Laboratory)

CHICAGO, March 18, 2019 – Intel Corporation and the U.S. 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 dramatically 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 Aurora system will foster new scientific innovation and usher in new technological capabilities, furthering the United States’ scientific leadership position globally.

“Achieving exascale is imperative, not only to better the scientific community, but also to better the lives of everyday Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “Aurora and the next generation of exascale supercomputers will apply HPC and AI technologies to areas such as cancer research, climate modeling and veterans’ health treatments. The innovative advancements that will be made with exascale will have an incredibly significant impact on our society.”

“Today is an important day not only for the team of technologists and scientists who have come together to build our first exascale computer – but also for all of us who are committed to American innovation and manufacturing,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “The convergence of AI and high-performance computing is an enormous opportunity to address some of the world’s biggest challenges and an important catalyst for economic opportunity.” More...