What is Supercomputing?

Supercomputing is a form of high-performance computing that often leverages both massive CPU resources and high-speed interconnects. Supercomputers frequently consist of hundreds or even thousands of nodes working in parallel. They are highly optimized with hardware-based accelerators, such as GPUs and FPGAs, and they communicate across high-speed, connected networks that deliver data to the nodes. Each node contains one or more processors through which it carries out instructions.

Supercomputer performance is typically measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). FLOPS measure of computer performance is useful in scientific computations that require floating-point calculations that include very small and very large numbers and need fast processing times. Today, the world’s fastest supercomputers run Linux-based operating systems.

Why is Supercomputing Important?

Supercomputers are often used to solve extremely complex challenges that involve huge datasets and billions or even trillions of calculations. Today’s “exascale” supercomputers are approaching the ability to perform a quintillion (1018) calculations per second.

They are frequently used in the fields of scientific computing to perform various types of calculations such as predicting weather and climate change, testing the strength of encryption methods, and modeling everything from the human brain to the spread of the Corona virus. Mining big data and extrapolating actionable information from it has also been supported through supercomputers. Manufacturers have leveraged supercomputers to reduce design cycles by as much as several years, saving billions of dollars in R&D.

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