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Communications of the ACM

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Racing Against China, ­.S. Reveals Details of $500 Million Supercomputer

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The Summit supercomputer built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, is the approximate size of two tennis courts.

The U.S. Department of Energy has disclosed the details of its newest $500-million supercomputer.

Credit: Shawn Poynter/The New York Times

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has disclosed the details of a $500-million supercomputer, which may play a critical role in U.S.-Chinese competition to develop exascale-class systems.

The Aurora system's delivery is slated to launch in 2021 at the DoE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Argonne officials expect Aurora will be the first U.S. machine to exceed a quintillion calculations per second, and supporters hope it will facilitate more accurate models of phenomena like drug responses and climate change.

Among Aurora's purported components are unreleased Intel accelerator chips, a version of Intel's standard Xeon processor, new memory and communications technology, and a design that stacks chips on top of each other for space and power savings.

Cray's Shasta system design and other contributions will expedite the flow of data inside Aurora. Cray and Intel also are providing software to make the programming of supercomputers easier.

From The New York Times
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