On Wednesday, local time, HPE and AMD said they had won a $600 million contract to deliver a supercomputer to the U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear security division to support the U.S. nuclear arsenal, according tomedia reports. The supercomputer is named “El Capitan” and is named after the famous rock walls of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.
“Chief Rock” will be housed in lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The supercomputer will also be used at two U.S. national nuclear test sites, Sandia National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
AMD’s ability to win a chip supply contract for supercomputers is also a big win.
According to TOP500, a supercomputer research firm, nine of the world’s 10 fastest supercomputers now use Intel or IBM’s central processing (CPU) chips. The only exception is the third-fastest Chinese supercomputer, “Shenwei Taihu Light”, which uses a home-made chip. The fourth-ranked Tianhe-2 is also replacing Intel with a home-made chip.
Since the end of the explosive nuclear test, the use of supercomputers to simulate nuclear explosions has become a central part of weapons design, and the enormous computing power required has become the focus of competition.
Of the four fastest supercomputers in the world, two are in the United States and two are in China.
Huihe and AMD said the “Chief Rock” could run 30 percent faster than previously thought, thanks to AMD’s upcoming Genoa central processor unit.
They say the Emirates Rock supercomputer will also be equipped with four AMD graphics processing units for each CPU chip, which will speed up the processing of artificial intelligence tasks.
Huihe said it expects to deliver the “Chief Rock” supercomputer in 2023. If all goes according to plan, the supercomputer will run 20 billion times per second, meaning it will exceed the combined speed of the world’s top 200 supercomputers and about 10 times faster than the current number one supercomputing “vertex.” Intel and Cray announced last year a supercomputer designed to run 10 billion times per second.
“This supercomputer will ensure that the lab continues to excel and continue to make the U.S. competitive on the global stage of high-performance computing for years to come,” said Bill Goldstein, director of lawrence livermore national laboratories. “
U.S. Department of Energy officials announced last year that they had awarded the “Chief Rock” project to Whitsunday’s Cray, but did not say which company would provide the chips.