Intel Says Its Aurora Supercomputer is the Fastest AI System in the World

On May 13, 2024, at International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) 2024, Intel, Argonne National Laboratory and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced that the Aurora supercomputer has broken the exascale barrier.

The Aurora Supercomputer has made a significant breakthrough by surpassing the exascale barrier, achieving over a quintillion calculations per second, which is an incredible milestone in computing. Announced at the ISC High Performance 2024 conference, Aurora, developed by Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has registered 1.012 exaflops.

This achievement not only places Aurora as one of the world's fastest supercomputers but also highlights its prowess in artificial intelligence, achieving 10.6 AI exaflops on the HPL-MxP benchmark. The supercomputer's capabilities are expected to transform scientific research, enabling breakthroughs in various fields such as climate science, energy storage, and fusion energy.

The emphasis on an open ecosystem in high-performance computing (HPC) and AI is crucial as it allows for greater collaboration and innovation, fostering advancements that can benefit a wide range of scientific and technological domains.
Intel Claims Its Aurora Supercomputer is the Fastest AI System in the World

Aurora supercomputer has broken the exascale barrier and leads as the highest ranked supercomputer for high performance computing and artificial intelligence convergence. (Credit: Argonne National Laboratory)

The Aurora supercomputer is an expansive system with 166 racks, 10,624 compute blades, 21,248 Intel® Xeon® CPU Max Series processors and 63,744 Intel® Data Center GPU Max Series units, making it one of the world's largest GPU clusters.

Aurora also includes the largest open, Ethernet-based supercomputing interconnect on a single system of 84,992 HPE slingshot fabric endpoints.

The Aurora supercomputer surpassing exascale will allow it to pave the road to tomorrow’s discoveries. From understanding climate patterns to unraveling the mysteries of the universe, supercomputers serve as a compass guiding us toward solving truly difficult scientific challenges that may improve humanity", said Ogi Brkic, Intel vice president and general manager of Data Center AI Solutions.

Aurora's hardware components were completed last year, and it's not yet fully operational. However, it has already shown a 2X performance advantage over AMD's MI250X GPUs, and a 20% gain over NVIDIA's H100 GPUs in shared benchmarks.

Once fully operational, Aurora could potentially take the first spot from Frontier on Top500's flagship HLP ranking, as there's a contractual target number that is faster than Frontier.

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