USA takes title back from China – Summit can process 200,000 calculations per second.

Summit is the name of the US’s new supercomputer, and if initial reports are to be believed, the machine is more than twice as powerful as the current supercomputer champion based in China.

Summit has been developed by two computer manufacturing heavyweights, IBM and Nvidia for the US. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) based in Tennessee.

Up until last week, China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer was considered the world’s most powerful machine, with a massive processing power of 93 petaflops. Summit however, has a reported processing power of over 200 petaflops. This also makes it some eight times faster than the current fastest supercomputer in the continental US, Titan.

Summit is the world’s fastest supercomputer, and for the first time since 2012, the much coveted title is back in the USA. But for how long?

Anyone for tennis?

Summit is also big. The computer contains 4,608 specialist computer servers, it has over 200,000 individual processors, more than 10 petabytes of memory, and takes up the same space as two full sized tennis courts. The cooling system alone uses 4,000 gallons of water.

Paresh Kharya, a product management and marketing director for accelerated computing at Nvidia said that Summit is “the most powerful and the smartest supercomputer in the world. It’s also the world’s largest GPU-accelerated supercomputer.”

Rise of the Machines?

Summit will also be the first supercomputer designed specifically by artificial-intelligence (AI) applications. “Summit’s AI-optimized hardware also gives researchers an incredible platform for analyzing massive datasets and creating intelligent software to accelerate the pace of discovery,” said Jeff Nichols, the ORNL associate laboratory director

Summit will initially work on projects involving astrophysics, cancer research, and fusion energy.

The computer has been unveiled in time to be included in the latest Top500 supercomputers list that will be published later this month.

The US has not held the title of the world’s fastest supercomputer since back in 2012.