IBM and NVIDIA to build supercomputers for the Department of Energy

In a Department of Energy deal worth $325 million, IBM will build two massive supercomputers called Sierra and Summit that combine a new supercomputing approach from Big Blue with Nvidia processing accelerators and Mellanox high-speed networking. The companies and US government agency announced the deal on Friday ahead of a twice-yearly supercomputing conference that begins Monday. The show focuses on the high-end systems that are used to calculate car aerodynamics, detect structural weaknesses in airplane designs and predict the performance of new drugs.

The Department of Energy has awarded $425 million in federal funding to IBM, Nvidia, and other companies who will build two giant supercomputers many times more powerful than today’s most powerful machines. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy, announced Friday that the government will fund two high-performance computing supercomputers as part of a drive toward exascale computing, or a machine capable of one exaflop, or 10 to the 18th power floating point operations per second. Moniz said that the investments will help ensure the U.S. will have scientific, economic, and national security for future generations. The unstated goal: We must have more computing power for scientific research than other countries can marshal, because data is power. About $325 million of the money will go toward two state-of-the-art supercomputers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Those computers are expected to be five to seven times more powerful than today’s fastest systems in the U.S. Those systems are needed because, well, big data is getting bigger.

Categorized as IBM

By Rocco Penn

A tech blogger, social media analyst, and general promoter of all things positive in the world. "Bring it. I'm ready." Find me on Media Caffeine, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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