What Is a Supercomputer And Its Functions?

What Is a Supercomputer And Its Functions?

What Is a Supercomputer And Its Functions?

A supercomputer is a computer that is superior in processing capacity, especially computation speed, at the beginning of its introduction. Supercomputers are capable of performing quadrillion operations per second. But what is a supercomputer, and how do you use it?

As we know now that technological developments are developing so rapidly. More than 50 years ago, humans first set foot on the moon using advanced technology at the time. But the fact is, the cell phones you're using today are millions of times more powerful than all of NASA's combined computing power used for the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

Things have changed so fast that we now have supercomputers that help us understand the world, organize data and work faster than ever before. Let's learn what supercomputers are, why they are such a big deal, and what they are used for.

What Is a Supercomputer?

Supercomputers are the strongest type of computer in terms of performance and data processing. Supercomputers are capable of executing trillions of instructions per second which are calculated in Floating point Operations Per Second (FLOPS), while older computers are measured in Instructions Per Second (IPS).

Supercomputers are usually used specifically by large organizations to perform certain tasks, such as for research and exploration purposes. For example, NASA uses supercomputers to launch space shuttles, control them, and for space exploration purposes.

Supercomputers are very expensive and very large in size. Computers of this type can be accommodated in large air-conditioned rooms, some supercomputers can even take up almost the entire space of a building.

At the time of this posting, the world's fastest supercomputer is the Frontier, developed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, located in Tennessee, United States. The supercomputer cost $600 million, and each of its 74 cabinets weighed 8,000 pounds.

In 2022, it dethroned the Japanese supercomputer Fugaku, which previously held the title of the fastest supercomputer. Frontier is the world's first exascale supercomputer, which means it can perform one trillion floating point calculations (also called exaflops or EFLOPS) per second.

For reference, Apple's most powerful M1 Ultra chip clocks in at around 21 teraflops or TFLOPS (one trillion FLOPS). That may sound very impressive to you, but you will be surprised that the Earth Simulator supercomputer by the Japanese tech giant NEC Corporation reached speeds of around 36 teraflops in 2002!

Supercomputer Functions

We've recognized that supercomputers are incredibly fast, but what do supercomputers actually do? Well, supercomputers can be used in any field that requires processing large amounts of data. Here are some examples:

1. Weather Forecast

Perhaps the simplest application of supercomputers is to increase the accuracy of weather forecasts. By collecting and processing more weather data and taking into account the accuracy of past predictions, the supercomputer helps the BMKG predict the weather more accurately and quickly. As a by-product, supercomputers can also help the BMKG understand the impacts of climate change and find ways to slow them down.

2. Walking Simulation

Running simulations is a great way to predict the outcome of an activity without actually doing it. For example, running airplane simulations helps to understand atmospheric drag and create more aerodynamic designs. This helps make planes safer and more fuel efficient.

Other examples are running nuclear test simulations and conducting experiments and demonstrations for military use. Tests that can be done in simulations should be done with real equipment which costs many times as much.

3. Scientific Research

Scientists usually work with large data sets, and supercomputers make work easier by producing results faster. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, IBM's supercomputer Summit helped fight the virus by enabling researchers to "execute large numbers of computations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling."

Supercomputers are also useful to NASA scientists for "simulating the movement of air and water masses around planets to study Earth's climate, hunt for exoplanets, study the behavior of black holes, or design aeronautical or space vehicles."


So what is a supercomputer? In essence, supercomputers are computer machine technologies specifically designed for super-fast processing capacities, especially in calculation speed and large data processing. Supercomputers have extraordinary abilities because they are supported by thousands of processors with the ability to process calculations up to the limit of petaflops. However, to be able to use it requires a very expensive cost because supercomputers are used for complex tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Supercomputer Was Successfully Invented In What Year?

A: Supercomputers introduced in the 1960s, designed by Seymour Cray at Control Data Corporation (CDC), led the market in the 1970s until Cray left to form his own company, Cray Research.

Q: Which operating system is used on supercomputers?

A: Linux. Because almost 72.2% of the 500 supercomputers use the Linux operating system, the rest use AIX (8.8%), HP-UNIX (6.2%), CNK/Linux (3.6%), UNICOS (2, 8%), MacOS X (1%) and SuSE Linux 9 (1%).

Q: The World's Fastest Supercomputer

A: Frontier has been named the world's fastest computer version of the TOP500. Frontier data processing speed reaches 1.1 ExaFlops. Frontier was designed by the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) sponsored by the United States Department of Energy.

Also, read the article What Is Blockchain Technology And How Does It Work. And see you in another article. Bye
Read Also :
DotyCat - Teaching is Our Passion