Speeding Science into the Future

Illustrator: Adam Malin and Nathan Armistead

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Summit, the most powerful supercomputer in the nation, provides unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence (AI), among other domains, enabling scientific discoveries that were previously impractical or impossible.

With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second—or 200 petaflops, Summit is eight times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system, Titan. For certain scientific applications, Summit is capable of more than three billion mixed precision calculations per second, or 3.3 exaops.

“To put in human terms: A person doing one calculation a second would have to live for more than 6.3 billion years to match what the machine can do in a second.

Still stupefying? Here is another analogy. If a stadium built for 100,000 people was full, and everyone in it had a modern laptop, it would take 20 stadiums to match the computing firepower of Summit.” Steve Lohr, NY Times

Artist’s Note:

The repeating shape of the Summit Supercomputer’s cabinet doors seemed almost infinite to me. An impressive combination of infrastructure and technology brought together to create this magnificent machine of knowledge. Its endless pattern inspires me with the idea that its possibilities are also limitless. The light in the center of the design brings these concepts and motifs together in an attempt to show this acceleration of knowledge into the future with unlimited potential for discovery. —Malin