The US Has the Most Powerful Supercomputer In the World Again

Motherboard, Vice – On Friday, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee unveiled Summit, a supercomputer capable of 200 petaflops, or 200,000 trillion calculations per second.

Summit is over two times more powerful than the previous world-record holder, China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which means the US is home to the most powerful supercomputer in the world again after being dethroned eight years ago.

The new supercomputer has been in development at IBM since 2014 and is eight times more powerful than Titan, which until last week was the leading supercomputer in the United States.

To put the power of Summit in perspective, if every person on Earth—that’s all 7.6 billion of us—did one calculation per second, it would take 305 days to do what Summit can do in a second.

Although Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been a leader in developing new supercomputing systems for decades—it was the first in the world to perform teraflop (a trillion operations per second) and petaflop calculations, and is gunning to be the first to reach an exaflop (a quintillion operations per second)—most of the leading supercomputers in the world reside in China.

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Yet as supercomputers become more important for cutting-edge scientific research and developing artificial intelligence capabilities, the US is investing more heavily in its supercomputing infrastructure.