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The Impact of Exascale Computing and How AMD Is Helping

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At AMD, we look forward to celebrating Exascale Day with the rest of the HPC community. For us, it is a reminder of the important work we are doing alongside our partners to change and advance the world of computing, research, and science.


We’re joining with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), to highlight how the groundbreaking Frontier and El Capitan supercomputers will transform the ability to tackle some of the world’s most important challenges including in the areas of weather, genomics, physics, biomedical data, materials science and more.


In the past two years, our partners at ORNL and LLNL announced Frontier and El Capitan, expected to be two of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. In these two supercomputers, we are optimizing next-generation AMD Radeon Instinct GPUs and EPYC CPUs and open source AMD ROCm heterogeneous computing software, providing researchers the ability to access an unprecedented level of performance.


Frontier, which is expected to deliver more than 1.5 exaFLOPS of peak processing power in 2021, will push the boundaries of scientific discovery by dramatically enhancing performance of artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and simulation at scale, helping scientists to pack in more calculations, identify new patterns in data, and develop innovative data analysis methods to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. 


Similarly, El Capitan, which is expected to deliver more than 2 exaFLOPS of peak processing power in 2023. It is so fast that if all 7.7B people on earth each completed one calculation per second, it would take 8 years to do what El Capitan is expected to do in ONE SECOND! The system was designed with the goal to excel at AI and machine-learning data analysis to create models that are faster, more accurate, and capable of quantifying the uncertainty of their predictions.


As we continue our push to enable the HPC industry with exascale computing, the Frontier and El Capitan supercomputers open new possibilities for scientific research. To help researchers and scientists prepare for exascale computing, Oak Ridge National Labs created the Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR) program to develop applications designed for problems which Frontier, with its exascale computing power, can help solve. This program will grant eight teams early access to software development systems, leadership computing resources, and technical support, allowing them to optimize their simulation, data-intensive, and machine learning scientific applications for exascale performance in the development years leading up to the launch of Frontier.


At AMD, we are proud to work with our technology and ecosystem partners to drive innovation and discovery in supercomputing. Working together with exceptional technology partners like ORNL, LLNL and HPE, and the researchers, we can redefine the future of high-performance data centers and have a profound effect on advancing science and technology.  The innovations to achieve this level of computation are foundational and drive AMD’s leadership investments for the long term.


The exascale class of computing delivers advanced capabilities in modeling, simulation and AI that will impact people’s lives for decades to come. The analysis will guide approaches and solutions around critical issues such as climate change, socio-economic issues, disease management and cures, predictive analysis to optimize everything from crop yield optimization to medical diagnoses, and many more. 


You can watch a video from researchers at ORNL describing what the impact of exascale computing and the Frontier supercomputer will mean for their research. You can also read more about everything happening for Exascale Day 2020.


Mark Papermaster is an Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.


*Links to third party sites including social media feeds are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.


©2020 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, EPYC, Radeon Instinct, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


Cautionary Statement

This blog contains forward-looking statements concerning Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) including, but not limited to, the features, functionality, expectations, benefits and timing of AMD’s partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are commonly identified by words such as "would," "may," "expects," "believes," "plans," "intends," "projects" and other terms with similar meaning. Investors are cautioned that the forward-looking statements in this blog are based on current beliefs, assumptions and expectations, speak only as of the date of this blog and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. Such statements are subject to certain known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond AMD's control, that could cause actual results and other future events to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. Investors are urged to review in detail the risks and uncertainties in AMD's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to AMD's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 27, 2020.

About the Author
Mark Papermaster is Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Technology and Engineering responsible for Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) technical direction and product development including microprocessor design, I/O and memory, system-on-chip (SOC) methodology, and advanced research. He led the re-design of engineering processes at AMD and the development of the award-winning “Zen” high-performance x86 CPU family, high-performance GPUs and the company’s modular design approach, Infinity Architecture. He also oversees Information Technology (IT) that delivers AMD’s compute infrastructure and services.