Supercomputers perform a number of tasks including predicting the weather, securing systems and even playing and facilitating games. Supercomputers are particularly useful in scientific fields.Continue Reading
Supercomputers do not garner as much press as they once did, because modern servers are powerful enough for a wide range of tasks. However, supercomputers are still used for a wide range of tasks. In the United States, a supercomputer is used to protect nuclear weapons, and some suspect that government supercomputers are used to break difficult cryptography problems.
Today, supercomputers are often used for scientific pursuits. Because the Earth's weather system is so complex, supercomputers are needed to test various methods of predicting the weather. Similarly, supercomputers are used to test models of the Big Bang and other events thought to occur in the universe.
The definition of what a supercomputer is has changed over time thanks to distributed processing technology. Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer created by IBM, defeated Garry Kasparov at chess in 1996. Because today's computers are so much faster than they were in the 1990s, even a standard desktop computer can beat top-level human competitors. Sophisticated networking infrastructure makes creating a supercomputer simpler than in the past as adding new nodes to a system is comparatively simple.Learn more about Computers & Hardware
Seymour Cray developed the first transistorized supercomputer for the Control Data Corporation in 1958. He introduced the CDC 6600, the first supercomputer to use functional parallelism, in 1964.Full Answer >
Tianhe-2, the world's fastest supercomputer as of November 2013, is capable of performing almost 34,000 trillion floating point operations every second. Its theoretical performance is even higher.Full Answer >
The main functions of a ROM include storing programs and software instructions in electronic devices as well as performing major input and output tasks. Short for read-only memory, ROM is a type of memory storage system that can only be read and not modified. ROM is also referred to as a nonvolatile memory storage.Full Answer >
Special-purpose computers refer to computers that are built to perform specific tasks, such as automatic teller machines or washing machines. Special-purpose computers also include systems to control military planes, boats, surveillance equipment and other defense-oriented applications. They utilize unique operating systems that are tailored to performing their specific functions.Full Answer >