The US Department of Energy has contracted Intel to build two next-generation supercomputers for the Argonne National Laboratory's Leadership Computing Facility.
Intel is the lead contractor on the deal and will supply the computers with its HPC scalable system framework. Supercomputer manufacturer Cray is working with Intel as the system integrator and manufacturer for both computers.
The faster of the two computers is to be named Aurora. It will be based on Cray's "Shasta" supercomputer and is expected to have a peak performance of 180 petaflops -- which will make it one the world's most powerful computing systems, rivaling the Summit supercomputer being built by IBM and Nvidia, also for the DOE.
Researchers plan to use the Aurora system for tasks such as finding more efficient and durable batteries and solar panels, improving biofuels and investigating more effective disease control. Delivery is expected in 2018.
The second system will be named Theta and is significantly less powerful than Aurora, with peak performance of 8.5 petaflops. Theta will serve mainly as a production system for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, with delivery slated for next year.
The contracts for both Aurora and Theta are valued at more than $200 million.