Related topics: computer · computer simulations · china · ibm

Engineers build Raspberry Pi supercomputer

(Phys.org)—Computational Engineers at the University of Southampton have built a supercomputer from 64 Raspberry Pi computers and Lego.

Study explains decades of black hole observations

(Phys.org) —A new study by astronomers at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and Rochester Institute of Technology confirms long-held suspicions about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light.

Report: NSA cracked most online encryption

The National Security Agency, working with the British government, has secretly been unraveling encryption technology that billions of Internet users rely upon to keep their electronic messages and confidential data safe ...

Birth of massive black holes in the early universe revealed

The light released from around the first massive black holes in the universe is so intense that it is able to reach telescopes across the entire expanse of the universe. Incredibly, the light from the most distant black holes ...

page 1 from 23

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