Intel Corp. and Cray Inc. have been selected to construct a $200 million supercomputer in an Energy Department project for Argonne National Laboratory which uses some previously undisclosed chip technology.
While the supercomputer won’t be delivered until 2018, the project is the latest sign government agencies are working on strengthening U.S. leadership surrounded by stiff competition from China and other countries.
The machine at Argonne, a facility near Chicago, marks the third phase of an Energy Department program that kicked off in November with plans to spend $325 million on supercomputers at two other national laboratories, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Supercomputers are large room-sized computers used to solve complicated scientific problems, such as simulating nuclear explosions and solving complex algorithms. In 2013, a similar system in China won two top spots on a twice-yearly ranking of the world’s most powerful computers.
Franklin Orr, the Energy Department’s undersecretary for science and energy, said that Argonne, also known as Aurora, is an important step for science in United States.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Franklin Orr”]
Argonne allows us to really work on the very tough advanced simulation processes that underlie all kinds of energy technologies.
Intel as a prime contractor is to deliver 180 petaflops supercomputer at the ALCF, making it the first time in almost two decades that Intel is taking a prime contractor role in the delivery of a supercomputer. Aurora will be based on Intel’s extensible system framework combining multiple Intel HPC building blocks, including future generations of Intel Xeon Phi processors.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Rick Stevens” author_title=”Associate laboratory director for Argonne National Laboratory”]
Argonne’s decision to utilize Intel’s HPC scalable system framework stems from the fact it is designed to deliver a well-balanced and adaptable system capable of supporting both compute-intensive and data-intensive workloads.
In unrelated news here on Immortal News, FAA computers can be hacked according to The Government Accountability Office.
What do you think about supercomputers and are they worth the money invested in building them?