Intel’s Aurora Becomes the Fastest AI System with Exascale Power 2024

The scientific landscape is on the brink of a revolution. Intel, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), has unveiled Aurora, a supercomputer that has surpassed the coveted exascale threshold. This colossal machine, achieving speeds of 1.012 exaflops, not only claims the title of the fastest AI-focused system but also heralds a new era in scientific discovery.

Powering the Path to the Fastest AI System

“Aurora surpassing exascale paves the way for groundbreaking discoveries,” proclaims Ogi Brkic, Intel’s VP and GM of Data Centre AI Solutions. From deciphering intricate climate patterns to unraveling the universe’s mysteries, supercomputers act as our guiding compass, steering us toward solutions for humanity’s most pressing scientific challenges.

Beyond Speed: An AI Powerhouse for Unprecedented Research

Aurora transcends mere speed, embodying innovation and utility at its core. With an AI focus from the ground up, it empowers researchers to harness generative AI models, significantly accelerating scientific discovery. Already, it has mapped the human brain’s 80 billion neurons, revolutionized high-energy particle physics with deep learning, and propelled drug discovery through machine learning.

Inside Aurora: The Engine of Innovation

At Aurora’s heart lies the Intel Data Center GPU Max Series, built upon the groundbreaking Intel Xe GPU architecture. This foundation unlocks parallel processing capabilities essential for complex neural network computations within AI. A staggering 166 racks house 10,624 compute blades, with 21,248 Intel Xeon CPU Max Series processors and 63,744 Intel Data Center GPU Max Series units, forming the world’s largest GPU cluster.

A Symphony of Hardware and Software: Unlocking Potential

Complementing Aurora’s hardware is a suite of software tools from Intel. The Intel® one API DPC++/C++ Compiler and a range of performance libraries offer exceptional flexibility, enabling the system to scale effortlessly. Intel’s commitment to advancing high-performance computing (HPC) and AI extends beyond fast AI systems, fostering innovation through the Tiber Developer Cloud and future supercomputers like CMCC’s Cassandra and ENEA’s CRESCO 8.

The Human Factor: Collaboration Breeds Progress

Aurora’s success story underscores the power of collaboration. The combined expertise of Intel, Argonne National Laboratory, and HPE exemplifies the synergy that arises when technology and scientific research giants unite. This partnership not only pushed the boundaries of hardware and software but also cultivated a vibrant ecosystem of researchers ready to harness Aurora’s potential fully.

Beyond the Benchmarks: The Ethical Imperative

With the unprecedented power of exascale computing comes immense responsibility. Aurora’s potential to address complex scientific challenges must be balanced with ethical considerations. Researchers and policymakers must ensure this groundbreaking technology benefits humanity, tackling issues like climate change, healthcare disparities, and sustainable resource management.

The Democratic Dream: Making Exascale Accessible

While Aurora stands as a pinnacle of achievement, true success lies in democratizing this technology. Intel’s expansion of the Tiber Developer Cloud is a step in the right direction, providing researchers with a platform to experiment and innovate. Unlocking exascale computing’s full potential can foster a future where scientific breakthroughs are not constrained by geography or financial limitations.

The Road Ahead: A Continuous Journey

The unveiling of Aurora marks a new beginning, not an endpoint. As we delve deeper into the exascale era, continuous innovation will be paramount. Future iterations of Aurora and other supercomputers will push the boundaries of performance and efficiency. This relentless pursuit of progress, fueled by advancements in quantum computing and neuromorphic computing, promises an even brighter future for scientific exploration.