Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)

Summit Supercomputer

The OLCF provides the computational science community with world-class computing capability dedicated to breakthrough science and engineering.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee Location
2005 Start of Operations
1,674 (FY 2022) Number of Users


The Leadership Computing Facility (LCF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (OLCF) was established in partnership with the LCF at Argonne National Laboratory (ALCF) to provide the world’s most advanced computational resources to the open science community.  The LCFs develop and use the most advanced computing systems for the open science community, including industry, and also works intensively with key science teams to enable breakthrough computations.

The OLCF began operations in 2005 and was charged with developing an unclassified computing resource 100 times more powerful than the systems of the day. Since then, with regular upgrades, the OLCF has continued to deliver one of the world’s most capable computer systems. Today the OLCF is installing Summit, an IBM-NVIDIA computer system capable of 200 quadrillion (peta-) floating point operations per second (flops), or 200 petaflops. This is more than five times the computational performance of the current Titan system. In addition, for some AI applications, researchers can use less precise calculations than flops, potentially quadrupling Summit’s performance to exascale levels, or more than a billion billion calculations per second. If every person on Earth completed one calculation per second, it would take 1-4 years to do what Summit can do in 1 second. On June 25, 2018, Summit was ranked as the fastest high performance computer in the world by the Top 500 organization. The center serves computational scientists from all areas of the research community delivering state-of-the-art computing, data, visualization, and analytics resources to solve the world’s most challenging science problems.


LCF computational resources are competitively allocated to scientists from the research community in industry, academia, and national laboratories. Scientists and engineers using the LCFs have achieved numerous wide-ranging research accomplishments and technological innovations.  Approximately 500 peer-reviewed research articles based directly upon LCF projects were published in 2017, including several in high-impact journals such as Science, Nature, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


OLCF computational resources support scientific research through production simulation across many scientific domains, providing the key computing and data resources that are critical to their success. The OLCF also works with industry to develop new design techniques that are substantially cutting the projected time from concept to commercial product and provide return on investment data to upgrade company HPC resources. OLCF users’ scientific and technical accomplishments are wide-ranging and include development of earthquake models for safer building designs; engineering supersonic turbomachinery to be used for cost-effect carbon capture and sequestration; exploring and identifying undiscovered isotopes; optimizing placement for undertray components on long-haul trucks, results increased fuel efficiency by 7 – 12 %; and the most comprehensive simulation of water freezing on a surface ever performed in an effort to design new non-icing surface materials.