All about Super Computers


Its era of fast computing even our today’s mobile phones have the computing power that was used to be in past computer machines, but we have super computers too. Why? What are they and whats the need to have them.more

Okay, A super computer is a computer having very hingh processing capability compared to general computers. Performance of super computer is measured in Floating Point operations per second(FLOPS). There exist super computers that have processing power up to Quadrillion of FLOPS.


The history of supercomputing goes back to the early 1920s in the United States with the IBM tabulators at Columbia University and a series of computers at Control Data Corporation (CDC), designed by Seymour Cray to use innovative designs and parallelism to achieve superior computational peak performance.[1] The CDC 6600, released in 1964, is generally considered the first supercomputer.

By: WikiPedia

In 1980, super computers used few processors. Why? Because at that time technology was on its dawn. So the number of processors increased in 1990s as the technology advanced, the performance of these machines increased. And in 20th century, super computers came up with very high capacity with thousands of processors and processing power at that time measured in Teraflops.

By the 21st century, the progress was at its peak and super computers began to have 60,000 processors and capacity reached to Petaflops.

The CrayC90 super computer used 500 KiloWatts power in 1991. In 2003, ASCI-Q used 3000 KiloWatts power being 2000 times faster.The IBM-BlueGene super computer uses over 60,000 processors used at air cooled temperatures.


As of June 2016, the fastest supercomputer in the world is the Sunway TaihuLight, in mainland China, with a LINPACK benchmark score of 93 PFLOPS (P=peta), exceeding the previous record holder, Tianhe-2, by around 59 PFLOPS. It tops the rankings in the TOP500 supercomputer list. Sunway TaihuLight’s emergence is also notable for its use of indigenous chips, and is the first Chinese computer to enter the TOP500 list without using hardware from the United States. As of June 2016, China, for the first time, had more computers (167) on the TOP500 list than the United States (165). However, U.S. built computers held ten of the top 20 positions.                          By: Wikipedia


As we know super computers play a very important role in computer science, thay use parallel computing and they are mostly used in Scientific calculation: quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, oil and gas exploration, molecular modeling.

These works are done with super computers but are thinking how they are maintained? Yes its a right question, i tell you: There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.

A super computer would consume high electricity power something like 4 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity.


Linux is used by super computers mostly. No industry standard exists here because each machine uses its owe version of OS. And can use languages to build softwares like C and C++.

Listing of super computers according to speeeds:-

Year Supercomputer Peak speed
2016 Sunway TaihuLight 93.01 PFLOPS
2013 NUDT Tianhe-2 33.86 PFLOPS
2012 Cray Titan 17.59 PFLOPS
2012 IBM Sequoia 17.17 PFLOPS
2011 Fujitsu K computer 10.51 PFLOPS
2010 2.566 PFLOPS
2009 Cray Jaguar 1.759 PFLOPS
2008 IBM Roadrunner 1.026 PFLOPS
1.105 PFLOPS

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