Cray has been awarded a $600 million contract to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the US Department of Energy and the NNSA announced Tuesday. Named El Capitan, the supercomputer will be the fastest known in the world and will help manage the US’ nuclear stockpile. It’s expected to go into production by late 2023.
Supercomputers are used for power-intensive programs like quantum physics, examining whether old nuclear weapons could still explode, forecasting global climate change effects, designing engines and aircraft, and reconstructing the history of the universe. The two highest-powered supercomputers are still Summit and Sierra, owned by IBM in the US, according to a June report from Top500, which ranks the highest-performing computer systems in the world twice a year.
Sierra tops out at 125 petaflops, while El Capitan could run roughly 10 times faster, according to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It has a peak performance of more than 1.5 exaflops, or 1.5 quintillion calculations per second, and will be used for national nuclear security applications at more than 50 times the speed of LLNL’s Sequoia system.
El Capitan is also projected to be at least four times more energy efficient than Sierra.
“El Capitan will allow us to be more responsive, innovative and forward-thinking when it comes to maintaining a nuclear deterrent that is second to none in a rapidly evolving threat environment,” Lisa E Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Nuclear Security under secretary, said in a release.
All those exaflops will be pressed into service for the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which supports US national security missions and monitoring the nation’s nuclear stockpile in the absence of underground testing. El Capitan will also focus on evolving threats to national security, nonproliferation and nuclear counterterrorism.
Back in 2016, a report from the US government showed it still used a 1970s-era IBM Series/1 mainframe computer with 8-inch floppy drives to control its nuclear forces — including intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft.
- Is Edward Snowden’s Haven a Security App… or the Ultimate Spy Tool?
- 7 Great Open-Source Security Apps You’re Not Using
- El Capitan: Apple unveils next version of OS X software
- El Capitan and Magic In The Wind catch the eye
- Labour ministry to build Rs 20,000cr social security fund for unorganised sector: Report
- TITAN SUPERCOMPUTER POINTS THE WAY TO EXASCALE
- Nvidia GeForce Titan: supercomputer GPU power for the 1%
- Motorists in Crime-ridden Caracas Seek Safety Through 'Buddy' App
- Don't assume Trump is more responsible with nuclear weapons than North Korea
- Road map for the new decade: Creating a secure future for digital payments
- 5 Reasons Why Website Security Is Crucial for a Growing Business
- Which Smartphone Has the Best Security? iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9 vs. Pixel 2