Skip to Content
Computing

The US is building a $500m ‘exascale’ computer that will be the world’s most powerful

March 19, 2019

Officials claim the machine will be seven times faster than the current most powerful system.

A first: The Aurora supercomputer would be the first US computer to reach exascale performance, where a computer can do more than a quintillion calculations per second. The closest rival is a $200 million IBM system called Summit, which won the top spot among the world’s 500 most powerful computers last year.

The details: Aurora will be built by Intel at the Argonne National Laboratory, on the outskirts of Chicago. It’s scheduled to be ready in 2021.

Why? Making machines quicker at crunching data would help researchers with tasks like modeling climate change or finding new pharmaceutical drugs. The announcement must also be seen through the lens of China-US tech rivalry, particularly within the field of supercomputers.

Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

Deep Dive

Computing

child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev
child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev

Russia hacked an American satellite company one hour before the Ukraine invasion

The attack on Viasat showcases cyber’s emerging role in modern warfare.

hacked telecom concept
hacked telecom concept

Chinese hackers exploited years-old software flaws to break into telecom giants

A multi-year hacking campaign shows how dangerous old flaws can linger for years.

stock image of robots in a car plant
stock image of robots in a car plant

Transforming the automotive supply chain for the 21st century

Cloud-based tech solutions are helping manufacturers manage a new ecosystem of suppliers with greater agility and resilience.

The Western Union Building, 60 Hudson Street, c. 1931.
The Western Union Building, 60 Hudson Street, c. 1931.

Energy-hungry data centers are quietly moving into cities

Companies are pushing more server farms into the hearts of population centers.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.