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Energy Department spending $500M on ‘Aurora’ supercomputer

LEMONT, Ill. (AP) _ The Department of Energy plans to spend $500 million to build what could be one of the world’s fastest computers at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago.

The department said Monday that the supercomputer will be able to do more than one quintillion operations per second. That’s equal to a 10 with 18 zeros behind it. The computer will be named “Aurora” and plans are to turn it on in 2021. Energy department officials say the computer will give researchers “an unprecedented set of tools to address scientific problems.”

Argonne is working on the project with chip maker Intel Corp. and Seattle-based supercomputer manufacturer Cray.

Trish Damkroger leads Intel’s high-performance computing business. She tells the Chicago Tribune the computer could give the U.S. a competitive advantage. Several countries are in a race to claim they have the fastest computer in the world.

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