A high level of performance computer compared to a general-purpose computer is known as a Supercomputer. The earliest systems were introduced in the 1960’s.
In the field of Supercomputers, the US has been the leader. First through a computer company Cray and later through a variety of technology companies. The US has not possessed the world’s most powerful supercomputer since June 2013. It has now introduced a supercomputer which is said to be the most powerful one. It was designed to increase the artificial intelligence techniques that power some of the recent tricks in your smartphone.
In the era of cloud computing and humongous data centers, Supercomputers have lost some of their qualities. But many problems required a giant machines. A US government report said that the nation should invest more in supercomputing, to keep stride with China on defense projects such as nuclear weapons, hypersonic aircraft and pharmaceuticals.
America’s new best computer is significant for more than just the geopolitics of computational strength. The Supercomputer demonstrates the strength of American leadership in scientific innovation and technology development.
The Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said, “It is going to have a profound impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security. I am truly excited by the potential of Summit, as it moves the nation one step closer to the goal of delivering an exascale supercomputing system by 2021.”
Summit could be used to get the solutions for nearly every facet of life. The ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) team wants to use it for astrophysics research, materials engineering, and even systems biology.
Using a computer today is nothing like it was a few decades ago. The speed of computer systems has nearly doubled each year; transistors have become so small that billions could fit on a fingernail. The average central processing unit (CPU) inside a current-day laptop can perform roughly 21 billion instructions per second. The need to perform the complex computations has increased with the increase in the computing power.
Some components are:
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material. Electronic circuits require the fast and precise movement of electronic signals. Transistors allow these signals to be either amplified or switched to complete different types of operations of varying complexity.
- Central Processing Unit
Central Processing Unit (CPU) carries the instructions of a computer program. It is the heart of a computer’s operations. Early supercomputers took advantage of a small number of CPUs. Modern supercomputers have taken this idea to the extreme levels fixing together thousands of consumer-grade processors into large arrays.
Supercomputers consume a lot of energy and some of that energy is released as heat, so supercomputers need to be kept cool enough so that the components work efficiently.
Summit has nearly 28,000 graphics processors made by Nvidia, alongside more than 9,000 conventional processors from IBM. Thomas Zacharia, director of Oak Ridge National Lab said,”We set out to build the world’s most powerful supercomputer, but it is also the world’s smartest supercomputer.”
ORNL researcher, Gina Tourassi said,”Essentially, we are training computers to read documents and abstract information using large volumes of data, Summit enables us to explore much more complex models in a time efficient way so we can identify the ones that are most effective.”
The United States has taken first place in a major field of technology. The world’s fastest supercomputer is once again American. Summit will be used for research in fields including energy, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence.