Supercomputing

A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of contemporary processing capacity. Supercomputing provides the resources that allows scientists and engineers to solve complex scientific, engineering, and business problems with specialized computing needs.

Essential Characteristics

Immense Computation Power

Supercomputers are capable of trillions of floating point operations per second. This provides them the capability to solve problems or tasks that would be infeasible or impossible in other computer systems.

Enhanced Networking

Making use of advanced network communications technologies such as Infiniband, supercomputers are capable both of very high bandwidth and low latency.

Scalable Performance

Composed of hundreds or even thousands of processors working in close proximity, resulting in a centralized massively parallel system, supercomputers can scale both horizontally and vertically.

Exascale computing will provide capability benefits to a broad range of industries, including energy, pharmaceutical, aircraft, automobile, entertainment, and others. More powerful computing capability will allow these diverse industries to more quickly engineer superior new products that could improve a nation’s competitiveness.

Jack Dongarra, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Top500 author and creator of the linpack benchmark

Today, the medical field is highly competitive and we can only make progress due to our own efforts, and the computers we can access.

Dr. Mounir Tarek, Human Brain Project

We estimate that the move to HPC has already saved PayPal more than $700 million and is saving tens of millions of dollars per year for other commercial companies, on top of the benefits reported by established HPC users in government, academia, and industry.

Steve Conway, IDC Research Vice President for High Performance Computing/Data Analysis

Industries

Academia, Education and Research

Supercomputing enables researchers to perform far more complex calculations and to obtain results far more quickly. With supercomputers, brand new studies can be performed that were simply not possible before. This means disruptive innovation for science and industry.

Manufacturing and Engineering

Supercomputers offers engineers the computing resources needed to study, analyse and simulate technical problems, to carry out project management and quality control more easily and quickly. They enable vital decisions, helping promote product innovations, speed up development, and reduce time to market.

Energy

Beyond the capabilities of supercomputing for data acquisition, analysis and storage for energy companies, there are other extended benefits. To meet the global energy demand, supercomputing provides advanced seismic imaging for oil and gas exploration, accelerating ROI and minimizing risk while supporting ingenious development of new energy sources.

Supercomputer Usage by Market Segment

Number of supercomputers across market segments as percentages of the Top 500 Supercomputers.

[Top 500 List Statistics, segments]

Industry

Research

Academic

State

Vendor

Other

Contrary to what some might believe, most supercomputers nowadays are used in Industry rather than the Public Sector. This demonstrates an evolving need of private businesses for the capabilities that supercomputing offers.

Industry

Research

Academic

State

Vendor

Other

Contrary to what some might believe, most supercomputers nowadays are used in Industry rather than the Public Sector. This demonstrates an evolving need of private businesses for the capabilities that supercomputing offers.

Benefits

Discovery and Breaktrough

Thanks to their unparalleled computing ability, supercomputers can be used to solve new, complex engineering and scientific problems that could never be solved with conventional tools.

Cost Reduction

Trial-and-error testing, prototyping and other costly processes, previously necessary during product development, can be replaced by simulation and other computerized processes, leading to substancial cost reductions.

Time-to-Market

Due to improved improved research and development capabilities, supercomputing reduces the time and labour needed to bring products to market.

50
Breakthrough increase
40
Cost Reduction
45
Decrease in time-to-market

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