Department of Energy eyeing Nvidia and AMD powered supercomputer following delays from Intel Corp

According to two people familiar with the matter at hand, the U.S. Department of Energy is closing in on a deal to purchase a supercomputer made with chips from Nvidia Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc even as a key lab waits for a larger supercomputer from Intel Corp that has seen delays for months.

Incidentally, the Nvidia and AMD machine, called Polaris, will not be a replacement for the Intel-based Aurora machine slated for the Argonne National Lab near Chicago, which was poised to be the nation’s fastest computer when announced in 2019. It will instead, be a test machine for Argonne to start readying its software for the Intel machine, said sources familiar with the matter at hand.

Argonne’s spokesperson Ben Schiltz did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

AMD’s spokesperson Aaron Grabein did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Nvidia’s spokesperson Ken Brown declined comment.

The chipmakers are battling for market share in the data center segments

According to sources, the Polaris machine at Argonne will not be as powerful as the Intel equivalent. While the Polaris supercomputer will be based on Nvidia’s A100 chips and AMD’s Rome and Milan chips, it will be capable to exaflop speed but mostly work at lower clock cycles.


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