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To answer some of the most pressing questions we have—will Earth heat up by one degree Celsius in the next 50 years, or a catastrophic six?—we need supercomputers that work faster and in much greater detail than typical computers. Developed for ORNL by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Frontier is the world’s first exascale computer, which can calculate more than one quintillion floating point operations, or FLOPs, per second— faster than the seven next most powerful supercomputers combined. It’s already being used by researchers for everything from studying black holes to climate modeling. “People compare it to the equivalent of landing on the moon in our generation, in terms of an engineering feat,” said Nic Dubé, who led the project for HPE. “This is more than a miracle. This is statistical impossibility.”

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