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Multiprocessor supercomputers for scientific/engineering applications

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1 Author(s)
Kai Hwang ; University of Southern California

Supercomputers, the fastest computers available, are playing a major role in advancing human civilization. Based on today's technology, a computer is considered a supermachine if it can perform hundreds of milllions of floating-point operations per second (100 M-Flops) with a word length of approximately 64 bits and a main memory capacity of millions of words. The value of supercomputers has been identified in three general areas: (1) supercomputers aid in knowledge acquisition by processing complex data within a reasonable time. (2) supercomputers provide computational tractability in instrumentation, predictive simulations, energy resource exploration, general circulation modeling, weapons effects, and atmospheric testing. (3) supercomputers promote productivity, as in system optimization, computeraided design and manufacturing, and VLSI circuit design. The author briefly reviews the evolution of supercomputers, then discusses supercomputing in science and engineering. He considers multiprocessing supercomputers and exploratory research multiprocessors and finally considers future directions.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 6 )