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MIT Technology Review

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

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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.

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