New Supercomputer Summit Solves the Question Who We Are

New Supercomputer “Summit” Solves the Question Who We Are

Summit or OLCF-4 is a supercomputer developed by IBM for use at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which as of June 2018 is the fastest supercomputer around the world. According to Summit has come to life to solve many inextricable questions such as who we are, our place on earth, and in our universe.

Summit will deliver more than five times the computational performance of Titan’s 18,688 nodes, using only approximately 4,600 nodes when it arrives in 2018.

Titan or OLCF-3 is a supercomputer built by Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for use in a variety of science projects. It uses graphics processing units (GPUs) in addition to conventional central processing units (CPUs).

Summit will have a hybrid architecture, like Titan.  Each Summit’s node will contain multiple IBM POWER9 CPUs and NVIDIA Volta GPUs all connected together with NVIDIA’s high-speed NVLink.

Each node will have over half a terabyte of coherent memory (high bandwidth memory + DDR4) addressable by all CPUs and GPUs plus 800GB of non-volatile RAM that can be used as a burst buffer or as extended memory.

Supercomputer will have an opportunity allowing researchers to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges in all fields of science.

  • Summit is connected by 185 miles of fiber optic cables—or the distance from Knoxville to Nashville, Tennessee.
  • For some AI applications, researchers can use less calculations than flops, potentially quadrupling Summit’s performance to exascale levels, or more than
  • a billion billion calculations per second.
  • supercomputer’s file system can store 250 petabytes of data, or the equivalent of 74 years of high-definition video.

Specifications and Features

Processor: IBM POWER9™


Nodes: ~4600

Node Performance: >40TF

Memory/node: 512GB DDR4 + HBM

NV Memory/node: 1600GB

Total System Memory: >10PB DDR4 + HBM + Non-volatile

Interconnect Topology: Non-blocking InfiniBand Fat Tree

Peak Power Consumption: 15MW