What is Supercomputer

A supercomputer is a fast computer that contains thousands of processors in it and that can perform trillions of calculations per second.

The speed of a supercomputer is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). The speed of the normal computer is measured in million instructions per second (MIPS).

Old supercomputers used the UNIX operating system while newer versions of supercomputers run Linux on their backend.

If we talk about the top ten fastest supercomputers then 5 of the top ten supercomputers belong to the United States, 2 from China, 1 from Finland, 1 from Japan and 1 from France.

As there are thousands of processors attached to the supercomputer so it requires a large cooling system. High electricity is used for running processors and also for cooling down processors there is needed very high electricity. The electricity used for running and maintaining supercomputers is equal to the electricity that 5000 houses consume. If we talk about the cost of electricity then a normal supercomputer consumes about $3.5 million per year.

Supercomputers are also made by combining millions of computers. The processors in supercomputers process calculations in parallel. Parallel calculations mean all processors calculate different calculations at the same time.

The speed of the fastest supercomputers reaches hundreds of Peta FLOPS. The temperature is kept low where the supercomputer works.

Who Invented Supercomputer

The first supercomputer named Cray-1 was developed in 1976. The main work on Cray-1 was done by Seymour Cray so the name of that supercomputer was also named by him. Seymour Cray is also known as the father of supercomputers.

The world’s fastest supercomputer is developed by the United States and is named Frontier.

The cost of supercomputer reaches $100 million and is not affordable for a normal user to buy it. The average life of a supercomputer is 1-3 years. The life of a normal computer is greater than supercomputer because the maintenance cost of a supercomputer is very high.

Uses of Supercomputer

Let us now discuss some uses of a supercomputer.

Uses of Supercomputer

Some uses of a supercomputer are:-

  1. They are used in oil and gas exploration.
  2. They are used in folding of proteins which helps in the development of different drugs.
  3. They help to test aircraft and reduce costs in a space mission.
  4. They help to precisely do weather forecasting.
  5. Supercomputers can measure the interaction between molecules and help to discover new drugs and treatments.
  6. They help to do cloud computing and big companies like Amazon and Google use supercomputers to provide their services to users.
  7. They are used for image recognition, natural language processing and autonomous vehicles.
  8. They help in experimenting with nuclear fusions and creating energy from nuclear experiments.
  9. Supercomputers help researchers to develop applications for quantum computing.
  10. They help banks and financial institutions to manage risk and make better investment decisions.
  11. They help organizations to protect their systems from cyber-attacks and data loss.
  12. Used in the entertainment industry to make complex animations in movies and video games.
  13. They help to diagnose diseases and develop medicines.
  14. They help scientists to predict the behaviour of the earth millions of years ago.
  15. Helps to simulate traffic patterns and improve traffic efficiency.
  16. They help to research materials at the atomic level.
  17. They help to process a large amount of video and image data.
  18. Supercomputers help to study the behaviour of stars and galaxies.
  19. They help in the mining of bitcoins.
  20. They help in understanding the behaviour of blood flow in the human body.
  21. They are used to manage large databases.
  22. Supercomputers help to predict the temperature of the earth in the coming years.
  23. They help to track and manage airlines.

Examples of Supercomputer

Some examples of supercomputers are:-

  1. Frontier (1,102 PFLOPS)
  2. Fugaku (442 PFLOPS)
  3. LUMI (309 PFLOPS)
  4. Leonardo (174 PFLOPS)
  5. Summit (148 PFLOPS)
  6. Sierra (94 PFLOPS)
  7. SunwayTaihuLight ( 93 PFLOPS)
  8. Perlmutter (70 PFLOPS)
  9. Selene ( 63 PFLOPS)
  10. Tiahe-2A (61 PFLOPS)

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