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

Everything dies, including information

Digitization can help stem the tide of entropy, but it won’t stop it.

What’s next in cybersecurity

“When it comes to really cutting off ransomware from the source, I think we took a step back.”

Moving money in a digital world

Security is the critical element to expanding digital-first payments.

Cyber resilience melds data security and protection

Organizations face pervasive and sophisticated cyberattacks, but modern data protection techniques can provide a multifaceted defense.

Stay connected

Illustration 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.