Powerful Computer Dedicated at LLNL

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which has pioneered the use of high performance computing in science since the 1950s, dedicated its most powerful computer last week.

Sierra, as the computer is named, is said to be capable of running at a speed of 125 million billion operations per second, or 125 petaflops. Sierra’s first components were delivered four years ago, but the completed system is only now approaching full capacity.


An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.


You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Choose an online service.

kAmt2C=J ?6IE J62C[ $:6CC2 H:== 36 DH:E4965 E@ 4=2DD:7:65 @A6C2E:@?D E@ >@56= ?F4=62C H62A@?D A6C7@C>2?46 😕 DF49 56E2:= E92E E96 AC@8C2>D 4@F=5 E2<6 9F?5C65D @7 9@FCD E@ CF? 6G6? @? E96 H@C=5’D 72DE6DE 4@>AFE6CD]k^Am

kAm%96D6 D@42==65 >F=E:A9JD:4D 4@56D :?E68C2E6 677@CED 3J E62>D 7C@> 2C@F?5 E96 =23@C2E@CJ[ C6BF:C:?8 “7C@> E6?D @7 AC@46DD@CD E@ E6?D @7 E9@FD2?5D @7 AC@46DD@CD E@ 9F?5C65D @7 E9@FD2?5D @7 AC@46DD@CD[” 244@C5:?8 E@ r9C:D r=@FD6[ 2DD@4:2E6 AC@8C2> 5:C64E@C @7 4@>AFE2E:@?2= A9JD:4D 2E {{}{]k^Am

kAmp=E9@F89 :E 😀 =@42E65 😕 {:G6C>@C6[ $:6CC2 😀 2 724:=:EJ @7 E96 }2E:@?2= }F4=62C $64FC:EJ p5>:?:DEC2E:@?[ @C }}$p]k^Am

kAmpD DF49[ H62A@?D A9JD:4:DED 7C@> 2== E9C66 H62A@?D =23@C2E@C:6D \ {@D p=2>@D[ $2?5:2 2?5 {2HC6?46 {:G6C>@C6 }2E:@?2= {23@C2E@C:6D \ “92G6 6BF2= C:89ED” E@ :ED FD6[ 244@C5:?8 E@ |:<6 |4r@J[ {{}{’D AC@8C2> 5:C64E@C 7@C 25G2?465 D:>F=2E:@? 2?5 4@>AFE:?8]k^Am

kAm$92C:?8 E96 FD6 @7 =2C86[ 6IA6?D:G6 724:=:E:6D 😀 4@>>@? AC24E:46 E9C@F89@FE E96 ?F4=62C H62A@?D 4@>A=6I[ 3@E9 7@C 4@DE 2?5 D64FC:EJ C62D@?D] #6D62C496CD 5@:?8 4=2DD:7:65 6IA6C:>6?ED 2?5 42=4F=2E:@?D >FDE AC@E64E E96:C 52E2 2?5 EJA:42==J 42??@E FD6 24256>:4 @C 4@>>6C4:2= C6D@FC46D]k^Am

kAm$:6CC2 😀 D@>6 e E:>6D >@C6 A@H6C7F= E92? {{}{’D ?6IE 72DE6DE >249:?6[ $6BF@:2] xE 😀 E96 AC@5F4E @7 D6G6C2= >2;@C A=2J6CD 😕 E96 4@>AFE6C H@C=5 :?4=F5:?8 xq|[ }’xsxp 2?5 |6=2?@I]k^Am

kAm#67=64E:?8 E96 E62> 2AAC@249 E@ 56G6=@A:?8[ :?DE2==:?8 2?5 3C:?8:?8 E96 4@>AFE6C FA E@ 7F== 42A24:EJ[ {{}{ 5:C64E@C q:== v@=5DE6:? :DDF65 2 DE2E6>6?E E92?<:?8 “6G6CJ@?6 :?G@=G65 😕 86EE:?8 FD E@ E9:D A@:?Ei @FC DA@?D@CD 2E }}$p[ @FC :?5FDECJ 2?5 ?2E:@?2= =23 A2CE?6CD 2?5 @FC @H? 565:42E65 DE277]”k^Am

kAmkDEC@?8m#@=6 @7 r@>AFE6CDk^DEC@?8mk^Am

kAm{{}{ A:@?66C65 E96 FD6 @7 4@>AFE6CD 😕 ?F4=62C H62A@? 56D:8? 2?5 😕 @E96C 7:6=5D @7 D4:6?46 368:??:?8 😕 E96 `hd_D] |F49 @7 E96 56G6=@A>6?E @7 62C=J 9:89A@H6C65 4@>AFE6C DJDE6>D H2D 42CC:65 @FE 😕 C6DA@?D6 E@ {:G6C>@C6’D ?665D[ F?56C E96 DFAA@CE @7 E96 @=5 pE@>:4 t?6C8J r@>>:DD:@?]k^Am

kAm%92E 😀 ?@ =@?86C ECF6[ 9@H6G6C] %@52J[ 52E2 D4:6?46[ 4=@F5 4@>AFE:?8 2?5 6?E6CE2:?>6?E 8C2A9:4D 2C6 E96 =:763=@@5 @7 E96 :?5FDECJ[ 2?5 4@>AFE6C 4@>A2?:6D 2C6 :?E6?D6=J 4@>A6E:E:G6 😕 AFCDF:?8 :??@G2E:@?]k^Am

kAmv@G6C?>6?E DFAA@CE65 =23D =:<6 {{}{ 5C2H @? E9@D6 :??@G2E:@?D[ H@C<:?8 😕 4=@D6 A2CE?6CD9:A H:E9 E96 4@>A2?:6D E@ “E2:=@C H92E E96J 2C6 3F:=5:?8 7@C 9:89 A6C7@C>2?46 D4:6?E:7:4 4@>AFE:?8[” 244@C5:?8 E@ {{}{’D r9C:D r=@FD6]k^Am

kAmw6 D66D }}$p 2D E96 @?=J 286?4J D6C:@FD=J AC@>@E:?8 9:89 A6C7@C>2?46 4@>AFE:?8 E@52J]k^Am

kAm%96 2CC2?86>6?E @7 $:6CC2 AC@46DD:?8 F?:ED 😀 2 42D6 😕 A@:?E] r@>AFE6C :?5FDECJ AF3=:42E:@?D 2C6 42==:?8 $:6CC2 E96 7:CDE >2;@C }}$p 4@>AFE6C E@ FD6 H92E 😀 <?@H? 2D 96E6C@86?6@FD 2C49:E64EFC6[ C676CC:?8 E@ E96 4@@C5:?2E65 FD6 @7 r!&D \ E96 EC25:E:@?2= 46?EC2= AC@46DD:?8 F?:ED @7 6G6CJ52J 4@>AFE6CD – H:E9 v!&D[ 8C2A9:42= AC@46DD:?8 F?:ED H9:49 42? 8C62E=J DA665 46CE2:? C6A6E:E:G6 4@>AFE2E:@?D]k^Am

kAmq@E9 r=@FD6 2?5 |4r@J D66 96E6C@86?6@FD 2C49:E64EFC6 2D 96=A:?8 E@ 567:?6 E96 A2E9 E@H2C5 DE:== >@C6 A@H6C7F= 4@>AFE6CD 😕 E96 7FEFC6]k^Am

kAm$:6CC2 😀 E96 D64@?5 😕 2 7@FC4@>AFE6C }}$p D6BF6?46 :?E6?565 E@ =625 E96 &]$] :?E@ E96 ?6IE 72DE6C C62=> @7 DFA6C4@>AFE:?8] %9:D 😀 4@>>@?=J 42==65 “6I2D42=6” 4@>AFE:?8[ D:8?:7J:?8 42=4F=2E:@?D 2E 2 C2E6 @7 2E =62DE 2 3:==:@? 3:==:@? @A6C2E:@?D A6C D64@?5[ 2 E9@FD2?5 E:>6D 72DE6C E92? A6E2D42=6]k^Am

kAm%96 7:CDE }}$p 4@>AFE6C E@ C6249 E92E 8@2= >2J 36 2 7@==@H@? >249:?6 2E {{}{ 42==65 t= r2A:E2?[ ?@H D4965F=65 7@C @A6C2E:@? 😕 a_ab]k^Am

kAmt= r2A:E2? >2J ?@E 36 7:CDE[ 9@H6G6C]k^Am

kAm%H@ 724:=:E:6D @7 2 5:776C6?E 3C2?49 @7 E96 &]$] s6A2CE>6?E @7 t?6C8J[ E96 ~77:46 @7 $4:6?46[ A=2? E@ 56>@?DEC2E6 6I2D42=6 4@>AFE6CD 62C=:6C] %96D6 2C6 pC8@??6 }2E:@?2= {23@C2E@CJ 😕 a_a` 2?5 ~2< #:586 }2E:@?2= {23@C2E@CJ 😕 a_aa]k^Am

kAm}@C H:== E96 7:CDE 6I2D42=6 4@>AFE6C ?646DD2C:=J 36 p>6C:42?] %96 y2A2?6D6 2?5 r9:?6D6 92G6 6IEC6>6=J 42A23=6 4@>AFE6C AC@8C2>D[ 2?5 3@E9 92G6 564=2C65 E96:C :?E6?E:@? E@ 5@>:?2E6 E96 7:6=5]k^Am