Meet Summit, the world’s most powerful supercomputer.
After five years of ceding dominance to China, the United States is (unofficially) back on top, thanks to this insanely fast machine.
This is how the machine’s developers at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory put it: Summit can perform 200 quadrillion calculations per second.
If every person on Earth did one calculation per second (and they can’t), it would take the world population 305 days to do what Summit can do in one second.
“The researchers were able to solve a problem on Summit in one hour that would take 30 years on a desktop computer,” Morgan McCorkle, the media manager for Oak Ridge, told CNN.
All the superlatives
Of course, this kind of firepower doesn’t come cheap.
Summit costs $200 million.
It takes up 5,600 square feet of floor space, almost the area covered by two tennis courts.
A win for America
America’s leadership in science — high-power computing, to be precise — has been in question for the past few years.
The Chinese government has been working furiously on high-performance computing in recent years, investing billions in its tech industry.
More than just bragging rights
And it’s more than just a victory lap at stake.