Supercomputer developed to explore science and engineering breakthroughs

Argonne National Laboratory’s exascale computer, Aurora, will launch in 2021 and will support machine learning and data science workloads alongside traditional modeling and simulation workloads.

By Argonne National Laboratory March 21, 2019

Argonne National Laboratory’s first exascale computer, named Aurora, will launch in 2021 and is designed to exclusively serve the research community in 2021. Aurora’s architecture, designed in collaboration with Intel and Cray, will support machine learning and data science workloads alongside traditional modeling and simulation workloads. The machine will process data from the latest sky surveys, to help answer some of the biggest questions in physics about the nature of the universe.

The science teams using Aurora will also develop alternative energy sources, design safer vehicles, invent new materials, understand how our brains work, and find ways to keep us healthier and safer. Aurora will be housed at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility.

A brand-new class of system

Each machine generation provides a fresh challenge to U.S. computer manufacturers—from the racks to the processors to the networking to the I/O system. Similarly, fulfilling the science potential of each new computing architecture requires significant changes to today’s software. Researchers will also be able to run a greater diversity of workloads, including machine learning and data intensive tasks, in addition to traditional simulations. Providing the data science software “stack”—the high-level programming languages, frameworks, and I/O middleware that are conventional toolkits—at exascale, is a major effort in deploying Aurora.

Aurora will feature several technological innovations, including uniform high-performance memory and a revolutionary I/O system to support new types of workloads. Programming techniques already in use on current systems will apply directly to Aurora. The system will be optimized across multiple dimensions that are key to success in simulation, data, and learning applications.

Argonne National Laboratory

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– Edited from an Argonne National Laboratory press release by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering industrial PC stories.