The Department of Energy (DoE) on June 1 earned the distinction of running the fastest supercomputer in the world after that designation was announced for the agency’s Frontier supercomputer system at the International Supercomputing Conference 2022 in Germany.

The Frontier supercomputer system is capable of 1.1 exaflops of performance while featuring a “theoretical Peak Performance of 2 exaflops, or two quintillion calculations per second,” according to DoE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Thomas Zacharia, ORNL’s director, stated that “Frontier is ushering in a new era of exascale computing to solve the worlds biggest scientific challenges,” he said.

“This milestone offers just a preview of Frontier’s unmatched capability as a tool for scientific discovery,” Zacharia said. “It is the result of more than a decade of collaboration among the national laboratories, academia and private industry, including DOE’s Exascale Computing Project, which is deploying the applications, software technologies, hardware and integration necessary to ensure impact at the exascale.”

The Frontier supercomputer, the agency said, “will enable scientists to develop critically needed technologies for the country’s energy, economic and national security, helping researchers address problems of national importance that were impossible to solve just five years ago.”

According to ORNL, the Frontier supercomputer is an HPE Cray EX supercomputer installed and tested during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort took more than 100 members of a public-private team working with components that include 74 HPE Cray EX supercomputer cabinets, 9,400 AMD-powered nodes, and 90 miles of networking cables.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.