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Summit is now the most powerful supercomputer in the world

Summit, a new supercomputer, unveiled at Oak Ridge National Lab, is unofficially for now the most powerful calculating machine on the planet.

It is also physical a giant machine, occuping floor space equivalent to two tennis courts and slurping 4,000 gallons of water a minute around a circulatory system to cool its 37,000 processors. It's an unusual supercomputer. It can do 200 quadrillion calculations per second (that’s 200 followed by 15 zeros) or 200-petaflop, about a million times faster than a typical laptop . America hasn’t possessed the world’s most powerful supercomputer since June 2013, when a Chinese machine first claimed the title.

Summit-supercomputer
Summit supercomputer in the U.S.

A US government report last year said the nation should invest more in supercomputing, to keep pace with China on defense projects such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic aircraft, and commercial innovations in aerospace, oil discovery, and pharmaceuticals. The Summit computer was tested to perform more than a quintillion calculations per second in a project analyzing variation between human genome sequences. Summit has nearly 28,000 graphics processors made by Nvidia, alongside more than 9,000 conventional processors from IBM. It’s expected Summit Summit will help analyze the roughly 15 terabytes of imagery expected to arrive each night from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, due to switch on in 2019. A competition is now in the world to build such giant computers and a target to obtain 1000-petaflop was anticipated.

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