The world’s fastest supercomputer comes with some assembly required. Frontier, the nation’s first exascale computing system, won’t come together as a whole until all pieces arrive at DOE’s ORNL to be installed—with the eyes of the world watching—on the data center floor inside the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.
There was an outside chance that China might pull a surprise on the HPC community and launch the first true exascale system – meaning capable of more than 1 exaflops of peak theoretical 64-bit floating point performance if you want to be generous, and 1 exaflops sustained on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark if you don’t – but that didn’t happen. And so, we wait.
As the spread of COVID was ramping up in 2020, the Department of Energy launched the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory, or NVBL, program with funding from the U.S. government’s CARES Act and began shoring up teams from across DOE’s national laboratory system. The molecular design team took shape, bringing together experimental validation with computation. Within months, they offered five promising drug therapy approaches, each focusing on a unique aspect of the virus’s lifecycle. ORNL scientists contributed to this potential solution with computational data and experimentation. They also contributed to the design, synthesis and testing specific to the papain-like protease, a lesser studied but highly promising approach. The team also characterized the main protease through world-class crystallography and x-ray and neutron experiments by ORNL’s neutron scientists, plus performed inhibitor synthesis experiments at ORNL’s CNMS.
DOE's ORNL has licensed its award-winning artificial intelligence software system, the Multinode Evolutionary Neural Networks for Deep Learning, to General Motors for use in-vehicle technology and design. The AI system, known as MENNDL, uses evolution to design optimal convolutional neural networks – algorithms used by computers to recognize patterns in datasets of text, images or sounds.
An analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has received the 2021 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. The team used high-resolution geospatial modeling to quantify the effects of land, energy and water infrastructures on the nation’s rivers and streams.