What is actually a Supercomputer? | Misconceptions about supercomputer.
Before i started research on this topic, i had a very big misconception.
Misconception 1:Supercomputer is “a” computer that is capable of doing large number of calculations really fast due to its high processing power.
The Truth:But To my surprise, supercomputer is actually a collection of interconnected synchronous nodes which are the source of its high processing power.
Misconception 2: Hardware is the most important and most difficult portion of a supercomputer’s development.
The Truth: I could never have dreamed in the wildest of my dreams that a super computer could be made from the easily available common commercial processors and hardware.Let me take the example of the latest SAGA 220 (India’s fastest supercomputer launched on May 2,2011 by ISRO) to prove my point. The system uses 400 NVIDIA Tesla 2070 GPUs and 400 Intel Quad Core Xeon CPUs supplied by WIPRO with a high speed interconnect. Most of the complexity in making a supercomputer comes in synchronizing these different nodes and handling their resources optimally enough to gain the processing power. This is actually possible only through software that manages and operates the computer.
Historically, supercomputers were distinguished by their vector processing capability – doing the same operation very fast over a stream of data as opposed to doing it one element at a time.
Modern supercomputers are sometimes vector but are mostly massively parallel. Wikipedia indicates that BlueGene/L is a cluster of 65,536 computer nodes, each with two processors. The advantage of the supercomputer is that it simplifies running a single program across all these processors and coordinates the data streams efficiently.
I hope article must have helped to understand what a supercomputer actually is.. more to come…keep visiting.. Thanks.