A government laboratory in Illinois will receive the fastest supercomputer in the United States in 2021, and it will be the first to hit what’s called exascale-level processing. The mammoth machine, called Aurora, will live at Argonne National Laboratory, and will be able to accomplish tasks like simulating complex systems, running artificial intelligence, and conducting materials-science research.
So what's the point of a supercomputer? Experiments like crash-testing a car are expensive, complicated, and sometimes dangerous. A supercomputer simulation, however, allows researchers to carry out those tests virtually, and track and change countless variables as they play out. Some supercomputers even simulate nuclear blasts, which is best done virtually, and not in the real world.