The most powerful computer ever built in the United States will make its home at Argonne National Laboratory in 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy and Intel announced today. Aurora, the United States’ first exascale computer, will combine unprecedented processing power with the growing potential of artificial intelligence to help solve the world’s most important and complex scientific challenges.
As an exascale computer, Aurora will be capable of a quintillion—or one billion billion—calculations per second, 50 times quicker than today’s most powerful supercomputers. But the impact of the system goes beyond faster and larger data processing to new frontiers of scientific inquiry, supercharging modern artificial intelligence approaches for finding new cancer treatments, searching for dark matter, mapping the human brain and other massive breakthroughs.
Upon delivery, researchers will be able to use Aurora through the leadership computing facilities at Argonne, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory operated by the University of Chicago.
“The evolution of large-scale computation and the emergence of artificial intelligence as an effective tool arecreating growing potential for transformative discoveries in many fields, including medicine, engineering and physics,” said University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, the chairman of Argonne LLC, which operates the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy. “Bringing Aurora to Argonne will provide researchers here and those from around the world with an exceptional resource for scientific inquiry and the development of critical future technologies.”
“There is tremendous scientific benefit to our nation that comes from collaborations like this one with the Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, industry partners Intel and Cray, and our close association with the University of Chicago,” said Argonne National Laboratory Director Paul Kearns. “Argonne’s Aurora system is built for next-generation Artificial Intelligence and will accelerate scientific discovery by combining high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to address real world problems, such as improving extreme weather forecasting, accelerating medical treatments, mapping the human brain, developing new materials and further understanding the universe—and that is just the beginning.”