ON THIS DAY – 18TH OCTOBER : – National Exascale Day Is Observed


On October 18, National Exascale Day celebrates the scientists and researchers who make breakthrough discoveries in medicine, materials sciences, energy and beyond with the help of some of the fastest supercomputers in the world. National Exascale Day celebrates those who keep asking what if, why not, and what’s next — with the advanced technology to attain the answers.

Exascale Day celebrates the scientists and researchers who make breakthrough discoveries with the help of some of the fastest supercomputers in the world Exascale supercomputers will be roughly a million times more powerful than the average laptop we use every day

This era in technology will have a profound impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. It will impact everything from healthcare and manufacturing to understanding new energy sources and the origins of the universe. Exascale is defined as a quintillion computations per second. For perspective, if all 7.7 billion people on earth each completed one calculation per second, it would take over 4 years. An exascale computer can complete a quintillion computations in 1 second.

Exascale is more than a speed milestone or a system size. Exascale is new workloads brought on by new questions intersecting with new compute capabilities to create a major technological shift.

CRAY, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, founded National Exascale Day in 2019 to celebrate the people who keep asking, “what if, why not, and what’s next?”  with the advanced technology to attain the answers. The day also celebrates a new era of supercomputing that will enable breakthroughs in disciplines benefitting all of humankind.

Currently in the works, the exascale supercomputer Frontier is scheduled to be delivered in 2021 to the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). The performance of exascale computers is measured in exaflops. One exaflop equals one quintillion calculations per second, a number that is mathematically notated as 1018.

Two other exascale supercomputers are also being developed at DOE facilities: Aurora, which will be located at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, and El Capitan, based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. ORNL’s Jeff Nichols, associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences, will participate in an online panel discussion on how the exascale era will change the face of computational science.

This year’s Exascale Day, scheduled for October 18, is just the second one. Ahead of the event, AMD and HPCwire hosted a discussion on exascale computing with researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).