Meet Summit, the World’s smartest and fastest Computer

        Summit is an IBM system located at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. With a theoretical peak double-precision performance of approximately 200 PF, it is one of the most capable systems in the world for a wide range of traditional computational science applications. It is also one of the “smartest” computers in the world for deep learning applications with a mixed-precision capability in excess of 3 EF. The designation recognizes the IBM-built system as the science community’s most powerful computational tool for solving problems in energy, advanced materials, artificial intelligence, and other domains.

          Summit’s ranking as the world’s fastest supercomputer demonstrates the strength of American leadership in scientific innovation and technology development. The world’s most powerful, and now fastest, computer will have a profound impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security. Summit will empower scientists to address a wide range of new challenges, accelerate discovery, spur innovation, and above all, benefit the American people.

        With Summit, researchers will be able to simulate and explore complex phenomena and obtain results in disciplines ranging from quantum materials and chemistry, advanced fission and fusion energy, to bioenergy and foundational biosciences, faster and in greater detail,” said ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia. “In addition to traditional modeling and simulation, Summit will also serve as an artificial intelligence and deep learning behemoth, capable of analyzing massive amounts of data and automating critical steps of the discovery process.

          The IBM Summit system reached a speed of 122.3 petaflops on the High-Performance Linpack benchmark test—the software used to evaluate and rank supercomputers on the TOP500 list. At its theoretical peak, Summit is capable of 200 petaflops, or 200,000 trillion calculations per second—about eight times more performance than its predecessor Titan.


Summit nodes are connected to a dual-rail EDR InfiniBand network providing a node injection bandwidth of 23 GB/s. Nodes are interconnected in a Non-blocking Fat Tree topology. This interconnect is a three-level tree implemented by a switch to connect nodes within each cabinet (first level) along with Director switches (second and third level) that connect cabinets together.


Summit is connected to an IBM Spectrum Scale™ filesystem providing 250PB of storage capacity with a peak write speed of 2.5 TB/s. Summit also has access to the center-wide NFS-based filesystem (which provides user and project home areas) and has access to the center’s High Performance Storage System (HPSS) for user and project archival storage.


       Summit is running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 7.4.

     The IBM POWER9 processor supports Hardware Threads. Each of the POWER9’s physical cores has 4 “slices”. These slices provide Simultaneous Multi Threading (SMT) support within the core. Three SMT modes are supported: SMT4, SMT2, and SMT1. In SMT4 mode, each of the slices operates independently of the other three. This would permit four separate streams of execution (i.e. OpenMP threads or MPI tasks) on each physical core. In SMT2 mode, pairs of slices work together to run tasks. Finally, in SMT1 mode the four slices work together to execute the task/thread assigned to the physical core. Regardless of the SMT mode used, the four slices share the physical core’s L1 instruction & data caches.

     It’s heavier than a commercial aircraft and a million times faster than your average laptop. To keep cool, the network of servers requires about 4,000 gallons of water a minute so as to not overheat. Summit is now the world’s ‘most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer,’ according to IBM.

Author :Naga Lakshmi Kadiyapu
Source :Indiatoday, Oak Ridge

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