The National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), a division of the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate at ORNL, provides state-of-the-art computational and data science infrastructure for technical and scientific professionals to accelerate scientific discovery and engineering advances across a broad range of disciplines. As an important part of the broader High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure, the division also hosts the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility. Each year the OLCF provides over 36 million hours of computer time to scientists and engineers.
The OLCF is home to the IBM AC922 Summit supercomputer, the fastest in the United States. Summit can perform 200 quadrillion calculations per second, or 200 petaflops. Researchers use Summit to investigate otherwise inaccessible global problems: from designing new materials, energy sources, and treatments for disease to modeling complex phenomenon related to weather or space to gaining new insights by analyzing gargantuan amounts of data.
In 2021, the NCCS and the OLCF will debut the Frontier supercomputer. The work to provide the additional power and cooling to run Frontier and the work to prepare researchers to use Frontier has been underway for 3-years. When it comes online, Frontier will be the nation’s first exascale computer and likely the fastest in the world at 5 to 10 times faster than Summit.