Related topics: computer · computer simulations · china · ibm

Sugar coating locks and loads coronavirus for infection

They say you can't judge a book by its cover. But the human immune system does just that when it comes to finding and attacking harmful microbes such as the coronavirus. It relies on being able to recognize foreign intruders ...

A new galactic center adventure in virtual reality

By combining data from telescopes with supercomputer simulations and virtual reality (VR), a new visualization allows you to experience 500 years of cosmic evolution around the supermassive black hole at the center of the ...

World's first 3-D simulations of superluminous supernovae

For most of the 20th century, astronomers have scoured the skies for supernovae—the explosive deaths of massive stars—and their remnants in search of clues about the progenitor, the mechanisms that caused it to explode, ...

Frontera named 5th fastest supercomputer in the world

The Frontera supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) earned the #5 spot on the twice-annual Top 500 list , which ranks the world's most powerful non-distributed computer systems. Located at The University ...

Getting a big look at tiny particles

At the turn of the 20th century, scientists discovered that atoms were composed of smaller particles. They found that inside each atom, negatively charged electrons orbit a nucleus made of positively charged protons and neutral ...

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Supercomputer

A supercomputer is a computer that is at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation. Supercomputers introduced in the 1960s were designed primarily by Seymour Cray at Control Data Corporation (CDC), and led the market into the 1970s until Cray left to form his own company, Cray Research. He then took over the supercomputer market with his new designs, holding the top spot in supercomputing for five years (1985–1990). In the 1980s a large number of smaller competitors entered the market, in parallel to the creation of the minicomputer market a decade earlier, but many of these disappeared in the mid-1990s "supercomputer market crash".

Today, supercomputers are typically one-of-a-kind custom designs produced by "traditional" companies such as Cray, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, who had purchased many of the 1980s companies to gain their experience. As of July 2009[update], the IBM Roadrunner, located at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is the fastest supercomputer in the world.

The term supercomputer itself is rather fluid, and today's supercomputer tends to become tomorrow's ordinary computer. CDC's early machines were simply very fast scalar processors, some ten times the speed of the fastest machines offered by other companies. In the 1970s most supercomputers were dedicated to running a vector processor, and many of the newer players developed their own such processors at a lower price to enter the market. The early and mid-1980s saw machines with a modest number of vector processors working in parallel to become the standard. Typical numbers of processors were in the range of four to sixteen. In the later 1980s and 1990s, attention turned from vector processors to massive parallel processing systems with thousands of "ordinary" CPUs, some being off the shelf units and others being custom designs. Today, parallel designs are based on "off the shelf" server-class microprocessors, such as the PowerPC, Opteron, or Xeon, and most modern supercomputers are now highly-tuned computer clusters using commodity processors combined with custom interconnects.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA