Los Alamos National Lab unveils new supercomputer primed for AI

The Venado supercomputer during installation at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Venado supercomputer during installation at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos National Laboratory

NVIDIA, Hewlett Packard, and the Department of Energy jointly brought a new supercomputer to the New Mexico lab outfitted for processing large volumes of data.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory cut the ribbon on a new supercomputer on Monday that will focus on incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning systems to further technological applications for both national security and fundamental scientific research.

The Venado computer installation at the New Mexico national laboratory is outfitted with 2,560 of NVIDIA’s Grace Hopper Superchips to support large-scale computing operations.

In conjunction with NVIDIA’s chips, Hewlett Packard Enterprise provided its proprietary Slingshot 11 network connectivity that is specifically designed for AI computational needs. 

Early tests have showcased Venado’s ability to produce “significant results” in atomistic simulations related to materials sciences and high-resolution astrophysics simulations while prioritizing workflow efficiency, according to a lab press release.

“Our supercomputing capabilities represent a critical component of how national laboratories tackle important problems,” said Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk in a press release. “With its ability to incorporate artificial intelligence approaches, we are looking forward to seeing how the Venado system at Los Alamos can deliver new and meaningful results for areas of interest.”

The U.S. national laboratory network has enjoyed fairly consistent federal support during the Biden administration, with an emphasis on high performance machine learning and furthering research in critical and emerging technologies, including AI.