Cray to build a $600 million supercomputer to improve the American nuclear stockpile

Cray to build a $600 million supercomputer to improve the American nuclear stockpile
The Siliconreview
14 August, 2019

Cray, the renowned American manufacturer of supercomputers has landed a massive contract from the United States government. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has commissioned Cray to build a mighty supercomputer that would have the capacity to perform at speeds of 1.5 exaflops. The contract is worth a whopping $600 million. The computer is planned to be used exclusively for improvements and developments of the nuclear stockpile of the United States.

The computer, named El Capitan will be one of the few exascale computers in existence, with an operational capacity planned to be of 1.5 exaflops, or 1.5 quintillion floating-point operations per second. Floating-point operations per seconds or FLOPS are a unit of measurement for the performance of computers. Planned for completion in 2022, the El Captain would become the most powerful supercomputer in the United States and among the most powerful in the world.

A supercomputer named Summit built by IBM for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory currently holds the title as being the most powerful one in the world. But it will be surpassed by the Aurora (being built by Cray and Intel and due to be delivered by 2021) that is being built for the Argonne National Laboratory to perform at 1 exaflop, trailing behind the oncoming El Capitan.

Once completed, El Captain would be dedicated for the design of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, processes which involve highly complex challenges in mathematics, engineering, and physics.