Category: Supercomputing

What is a Supercomputer?

A supercomputer is nothing but a type of computer which is designed with resources, architecture, and components for achieving massive power required for computing. These supercomputers available today contain thousands of processors that help in performing trillions and millions of computations and calculations just in seconds.

Supercomputers are designed to perform massive computing in organizations and enterprises. These computers consist of operational and architectural principles from grid processing and parallel processing. This is nothing but simultaneous execution of processes using thousands of processors that are distributed. Even though supercomputers contain thousands of processors which demand significant floor space, they come with other key components which are like typical computers. They contain components like operating systems, applications, connectors, and even peripheral devices.

Supercomputer- fastest computer

Yes, a supercomputer is the fastest computer that has the power to process substantial amount of data in a short interval of time. When compared to general-purpose computers, computing performance of supercomputers are extremely high. The FLOPS is the measure used to measure the computing measure of supercomputer rather MIPS. The FLOPS is nothing but floating-point operations per second. So, we can state that supercomputers are able to deliver on average hundred quadrillions of FLOPS.

Supercomputers have evolved from the earlier grid system to the cluster system. In a cluster system, actual computing means, a machine using many processors in just single system rather making use of arrays of different computers in the network. When it comes to size, these computers are massive. There are supercomputers which even occupy few feet and there are ones which need hundreds of feet. The cost of these supercomputers is really high. There are supercomputers ranging from 2 lakhs to 100 million dollars.

Supercomputers and their characteristics

Supercomputers can allow over a hundred users at the same time. These computers are capable of handling highly massive calculations which are definitely beyond human capabilities. Hence supercomputers are used in the areas where humans are unable to resolve highly extensive calculations. At the same time, any number of users can access a supercomputer. Supercomputers are most extensive computers available to date.

Supercomputers and their features

  • Supercomputers contain more than one central processing unit. The CPU consists of instructions to interpret instructions so that the computer can execute arithmetic as well as logical operations
  • When it comes to computation speed of the central processing system, you can expect extremely high computation speed from supercomputers
  • Unlike general-purpose computers which operate on pairs of numbers, supercomputers can operate on the pairs of lists of numbers
  • Earlier supercomputers were used mainly for national security, cryptography, and even for nuclear weapon designs. But today they are also used for automotive, aerospace, and even for petroleum industries

Uses and benefits of supercomputers

Supercomputers are never utilized for day to day tasks. This is because they are costly and even because of their superiority. Supercomputers are mainly used in places where there is a need for real-time processing. There are many uses and benefits of supercomputers and some of them are

  • Supercomputers are utilized for research and scientific simulations. For example, they are best suitable for weather forecasting, nuclear energy research, meteorology, chemistry, physics, and even for situations where there is a need for extremely complex and animated graphics
  • Supercomputers are also in use for predicting new illness, diseases, and even for certain types of treatments
  • Supercomputers are used in the military mainly for testing tanks, aircraft, and even for testing weapons
  • Military, they are also used for understanding the effects of wars and effect on the soldiers
  • Supercomputers are best suitable for encrypting data for security purposes
  • They are also the perfect choice when it comes to the testing impact of the nuclear weapon detonation
  • When it comes to the creation of animations in Hollywood, supercomputers are the first choice
  • Supercomputers are also in use behind highly entertaining online gaming. Here they are mainly used for stabilizing the performance of the game mainly when multiple users are making use of the game

Final thoughts

There is an essential feature of computers which should be noted. The computers are nothing but general-purpose machines which can be utilized for all kinds of purposes. It is possible to send emails, play games, and even edit photos using computers. It is possible to perform any number of things using computers. But when it comes to supercomputers, they are slightly different. You won’t need their computing power to check out an adult sex site like SKIPTHEGAMES. These aren’t machines for personal computing use.

Supercomputers are mainly utilized for mathematically intensive, complex, scientific problems which even include simulation of highly massive nuclear tests and weather forecasting. They are also very useful for simulation of climate changes and tests that find strength of encryption. So, we can make use of general-purpose supercomputers for almost all kinds of purposes.

So, general-purpose supercomputers are one of the varieties in supercomputers that are used for wide range of applications like all kinds of scientific problems. But there are supercomputers which are mainly designed to perform highly specific jobs. For example Deep Blue was the supercomputer that is designed by IBM in the year 1997 just for playing chess. This is an example of specially designed machines which can perform particular job. These are different from general-purpose supercomputers.

What is AI Supercomputer TX-GAIA at MIT Lincoln Lab?

AI Supercomputer TX-GAIA

Think of the internet as a network that connects people through the web pages or chats. Presently, over 5 billion people will be connected to the internet and 2020 the numbers are expected to reach 25 billion with the global annual traffic expected to exceed the equivalent of 500 billion DVDs. Only powerful super computers are able to support massive rapid computations can cope with the ever-increasing amount of data.

So as to power the AI applications and research across science, engineering and medicine the Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln laboratory supercomputing center has installed a new GPU-accelerated supercomputer that is powered by 896 NVIDIA Tensor Core V100 GPUs. It is ranked as the most powerful super computer in the world.

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence into the work place has brought diversity. The new super computer has a peak performance of 100 AI peta FLOPs as measured by the computing speed which is required to perform mixed precision floating point operations commonly known as deep neural networks.

The system features a measured performance of around 5 petaFLOPs and is based on the HPE Apollo 2000 system which is specifically designed for the HPC and optimized AI. Deep neural networks continue to grow in size and complexity with time.

The new TX-GAIA computing system at the Lincoln laboratory has been ranked as one of the most powerful artificial intelligence supercomputers in any university. The system which was built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise combines traditional high-performance computing hardware with almost 900 intel processors and hardware that is optimized for AI applications in addition to the use of Nvidia graphics processing applications.

Machine-learning supercomputer

The new TX-GAIA supercomputer is housed within the EcoPOD modular data center and was first revealed to the world in 2011. The system joins other machines in the same location including the TX-E1 which supports collaboration with MIT campus and other institutions. Researchers at the institution are thrilled to have the opportunity to achieve incredible scientific and engineering breakthroughs.

Top 500 ranking

Top 500 ranking is based on LINPACK Benchmark which is basically a measure of a system’s floating-point computing power or how fast a computer solves a dense system of linear equations. The TX-GAIA’s performance is 3.9 quadrillion floating-point operations per second. Or rather petaflops. It has a peak performance of 100 petaflops which makes top any other in any university in the world. A flop is basically a measure of how fast a computer can perform deep neutral network (DNN) operations. DNNs basically refer to a class of algorithms that learn to recognize patterns in huge amounts of data.

Artificial intelligence basically has given rise to various types of miracles in the world which include speech recognition and computer vision. It is this kind of technology that allows Amazon’s Alexa to understand the questions and self-driving cars to recognize objects in their surroundings. As the complexity of the DNNs grow so is the time it takes for them to process massive amounts of datasets. Nvidia GPU accelerators that are installed in TX-GAIA’s are specifically designed for performing these DNN operations quickly.


TX-GIAA is housed in a modular data center called an EcoPOD at the LLSC’s green, hydroelectrically powered site in Holyoke Massachusetts. It joins the ranks of some of the most powerful systems at the LLSC such as the TX-E1 which supports a collaboration with MIT campus and other users.

TX-GAIA will be tapped for training machine learning algorithms which include those that use DNNs. This implies that it will more likely crunch through terabytes of data for instance hundreds of thousands of images or years’ worth of speech. The systems computation power will be able to expedite simulations and data analysis and these capabilities will be able to support projects across R&D areas. This include improving weather forecasting, building autonomous system, accelerating medical analysis, designing synthetic DNA as well as in the development of new materials and devices.

Why supercomputing?

High-performance computing plays a very important role in promoting the scientific discovery and addressing of grand challenges as well as in the promotion of social and economic development. Over the past few decades, several developed countries have invested heavily into a series of key projects and development programs. The development of supercomputing systems has advanced parallel applications in various fields along with related software and technology.

Significance of super computing

A super computer is a high-performance computing which does not necessarily refer to a very large or powerful computer. A super computer comprises thousands of processors working together in parallel and it responds to the ever increasing need to process zillions of data in real time with quality and accuracy. HPC allows people to design and simulate effects of new drugs, provide faster diagnosis, better treatments and control epidemics as well as support in the decision-making process in areas such as water distribution, urban planning and electricity.

A supercomputer is of great benefit in a competitive industry as it helps in the digitization process. It also helps to direct benefits to our health in that super computers are able to detect genetic changes and it also comes in handy during weather forecasting.

The next wave of AI

The adoption of artificial intelligence has exploded in the last few years with virtually every kind of enterprise being on the rush to integrate and deploy AI methodologies in their core business practice. The first wave of artificial intelligence was characterized by small scale proof of concepts and deep learning implementations. In the next wave we will be able to see large scale deployments which are more evolved and concerted effort to apply to AI techniques in production to solve real world problems and drive business decisions.

Artificial Intelligence basically is a supercomputing problem and is expected to double in size within the next few years. AI thrives on massive data sets and there is a great convergence that occurs between AI and simulation. Most of the organizations that are performing simulation are increasingly adding machine and deep learning into their simulation.