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US Government Working with Intel and Cray to Develop Nation’s Fastest Computer by 2021

One of Aurora's primary functions would be simulating nuclear blasts, a pillar of weapons development since the ban of live detonation testings

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INTEL, US
FILE- This Jan. 1, 2018, file photo shows an Intel logo on the box containing an HP desktop computer on sale at a Costco in Pittsburgh. VOA

A U.S. government-led group is working with chipmaker Intel and Cray to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research, officials said Monday.

The Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago said they were working on a supercomputer dubbed Aurora with Intel, the world’s biggest supplier of data center chips, and Cray, which specializes in the ultra-fast machines.

The $500 million contract for the project calls on the companies to deliver a computer with so-called exaflop performance — that is, being able to perform 1 quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

If the project succeeds, Aurora would represent nearly an order of magnitude leap over existing machines that feature so-called petaflop performance, capable of doing 1 quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) calculations a second.

It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers.

One of Aurora’s primary functions would be simulating nuclear blasts, a pillar of weapons development since the ban of live detonation testings.

Aurora will be built with artificial intelligence capabilities for projects such as developing better battery materials and helping the Department of Veterans Affairs prevent suicides, Rick Stevens, an associate lab director with Argonne overseeing the exascale computing project, said during a news
briefing.

The project is a win for Intel, which will supply its Xeon CPU chips and Optane memory chips for Aurora.

intel, US
FILE – The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017. VOA

Intel has been fending off rival U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp.’s rise in the chip content of supercomputers as the machines take on more artificial intelligence work. Nvidia’s chips are found in five of the world’s current top 10 supercomputers, though the Nvidia chips are found alongside chips from its rivals, according to TOP500, which ranks the machines.

The world’s current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

The source of chips for supercomputers has become a factor in trade tensions between the United States and China. The world’s third-fastest supercomputer — the Sunway TaihuLight in China — has chips developed domestically in China.

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Chirag Dekate, an analyst with Gartner who studies the supercomputing market, said that despite the small contract size relative to Intel’s overall revenue, the work done on Aurora will eventually filter down to the company’s commercial customers.

“It’s not just a jingoistic race between the U.S. and China,” Dekate said. “The innovations that Intel is developing here will percolate down to other parts of its business.” (VOA)

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9th Gen Intel Core Processors are Coming to Laptops

The 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processor lineup now includes more than 25 products with options ranging from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i9

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Intel
This Jan. 1, 2018, file photo shows an Intel logo on the box containing an HP desktop computer on sale at a Costco in Pittsburgh. VOA

Intel on Tuesday unveiled its new 9th Gen Intel Core mobile H-series processors designed for gamers and creators who want to push their experience to the next level.

Laptops powered by the 9th Gen Intel Core mobile processors would launch from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and MSI, starting April 23, as they introduce the most compelling laptops for gaming and content creation.

“Our new 9th Gen platform is designed to delight gamers, creators and performance users by giving them more of what they want.

We are bringing desktop-caliber performance with up to 5 Ghz and 8 cores in a range of thinner systems and new level of connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) so users can game or create where they want,” Fredrik Hamberger, General Manager, Premium and Gaming Laptop Segments, Intel, said in a statement.

At the top of the stack is the 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK processor — the first Core i9 mobile chip with up to 5 GHz2 and “Thermal Velocity Boost”, 8 cores and 16 threads, and support for 16MB of Intel Smart Cache.

The full range of processors include Intel Core i5, i7 and the unlocked Intel Core i9-9980HK for higher performance.

Research on AI and Machine Learning is already on at all Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs). VOA
Intel bets on artificial intelligence, to train 15,000 people in India. VOA

The chipset making giant also made additions to the 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processor family.

The 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processor lineup now includes more than 25 products with options ranging from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i9.

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“The family also brings Pentium Gold and Celeron products to market for entry-level computing, giving consumers even more options to find the right desktop to fit their specific need and budgets,” the company said. (IANS)