The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Leadership Computing Facility (LCF) provides one of the world's most powerful computing resources for open scientific research. Titan is the high-performance computer (HPC) at the OLCF and aside from being one of the world’s most powerful computers, it is also the first major HPC system to utilize a hybrid-architecture, or one that utilizes conventional CPUs and unconventional graphics processing units (GPUs). The combination of CPUs and GPUs allows Titan to overcome power and space limitations inherent in previous generations of HPCs. With a peak theoretical performance of more than 20 petaflops, or quadrillion mathematical calculations per second, Titan is about 424,000 times faster than a typical PC. In 2012, Titan replaced Jaguar at the OLCF which was the world's first petaflop system dedicated to open research and although Titan is approximately 10 times more powerful than Jaguar, it occupies the same space and uses only 9 megawatts of electricity, essentially the same level of power as Jaguar did. Titan is made of a Cray XK7 system and consists of 18,688 AMD 16-core Opteron 6274 CPUs (for a total of 299,008 processing cores) and 18,688 NVIDIA Kepler GPUs. Titan also features 710 terabytes of memory and a 10-petabyte Lustre-based shared file system called Spider can move data at more than 240 gigabytes a second. It is both one of the fastest and largest-scale Lustre file system in the world. The OLCF will upgrade Spider to even greater bandwidth and capacity to tackle the biggest bottleneck in leading-edge systems moving data into and out of processors
The Oak Ridge LCF is one of the major computing resource for the Innovative Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. In 2013, the INCITE program awarded more than 1.8 billion processor hours on Titan to 32 INCITE projects from universities, private industry, and government research laboratories. Such unprecedented levels of computational power are key to cracking fundamental questions that underlie issues of vital importance such as designing fusion reactors that provide clean, virtually unlimited energy; engineering proteins to provide new therapies for diseases and release energy from biomass efficiently; making wise choices to protect our planet and avoid runaway climate change; and designing new materials with specialized properties. Past projects have ranged from efforts to better predict earthquakes in California to improving the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions of long-haul tractor trailer trucks by modeling and simulating airflow across their trailers.