The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is charged with helping researchers solve some of the world’s most challenging scientific problems with a combination of world-class high-performance computing (HPC) resources and world-class expertise in scientific computing.
As a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility, the OLCF offers leadership-class computing resources to researchers from government, academia, and industry who have many of the largest computing problems in science. Every year, researchers use OLCF resources to achieve breakthroughs ranging from understanding the smallest building blocks of matter to how supernovae spread elements across the universe. The OLCF supports research in biology, chemistry, seismology, engineering, energy, and many other fields. OLCF simulations have improved the safety and performance of nuclear power plants, turbomachinery, and aircraft; accelerated development of new drugs and advanced materials; and informed design of an international fusion reactor. The simulations have explored hurricanes, biofuels, neurodegenerative diseases, and clean combustion for power and propulsion. Research challenges remain, and OLCF resources can help.
Supported by DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, The OLCF—along with its partner organization, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility—offers researchers computing and data analysis resources many times more powerful than they could access elsewhere. Researchers can apply for time at leadership computing facilities through several allocation programs that cater to a range of scientific disciplines and HPC experience levels. Every year, the OLCF hosts and works with several hundred users across a broad range of scientific domains at industry events, on-site meetings, and regular hackathons.
The OLCF is home to two of the world’s fastest supercomputers—the Summit IBM AC922 and the Frontier HPE-Cray EX—supported by world-class data management and analysis tools. In May 2022, the OLCF debuted Frontier as the world’s first exascale supercomputer, achieving 1.102 exaflops. That performance was updated in May 2023 to 1.194 exaflops, making it No. 1 on the TOP500 list and faster than the next 4 supercomputers on that list combined. The OLCF’s Summit supercomputer, a 200 petaflops system, debuted in June 2018, and in May 2023 Summit was still in the top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world.
Additionally, the OLCF is home to quantum information science efforts, including the Quantum Computing User Program (QCUP). The user program is managed by the OLCF is charged with connecting researchers with quantum computing resources through ORNL’s vendor partners. The OLCF encourages projects that seek to compare quantum and classical computing approaches, algorithms, and implementations.
As supercomputing technology continues to evolve, the OLCF is positioned to remain at the vanguard of high-performance computing on the international stage.