Energy & Green Tech

Supercomputers advance longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries

In an effort to curb the rise in overall carbon vehicle emissions, the state of California recently announced a plan to ban new sales of gasoline-powered vehicles in less than 15 years—if the current governor's order holds ...

Computer Sciences

Researchers find algorithm for large-scale brain simulations

An international group of researchers has made a decisive step towards creating the technology to achieve simulations of brain-scale networks on future supercomputers of the exascale class. The breakthrough, published in ...

Hardware

Deep learning teams to get monster power in a box

Nvidia on Tuesday announced its DGX-1, a rather formidable, deep learning supercomputer. Deep learning is an already familiar concept; it is fairly well known that deep learning and AI signify modern-day keys for people who ...

Computer Sciences

Identifying individual proteins using nanopores and supercomputers

The amount and types of proteins our cells produce tell us important details about our health and how our bodies work. But the methods we have of identifying and quantifying individual proteins are inadequate to the task. ...

Computer Sciences

Sweden's fastest supercomputer for AI is now online

Berzelius is now Sweden's fastest supercomputer for AI and machine learning, and has been installed in the National Supercomputer Centre at Linköping University. A donation of EUR 29.5 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg ...

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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