A computer which can process information at speeds far greater than any other computer is called a super computer. Computer technology is progressing each day. Which is why today's supercomputer is tomorrows junk. The capability of a super computer today will end up on a mobile phone a few years down the line. Doesn't stop them being amazing devices though.
One factor that is common among super computers is that they carry enormous processing power. They are usually utilized in areas where a huge amount of information must be handled and processed in the shortest time possible. These areas of computing are scientific and engineering which require immense amount of computing power. NASA for example possesses arrays of super computers which fill entire rooms. They use these super computers to store and process a wide range of data from rocket designs to satellites. Other super computers were developed for very definite purpose; Deep Blue for instance, was designed to play chess.
Most super computers are customized - which means they are not mass-produced. Sometimes their components are unique. They are assembled using parts from various computer makers and these makers are sometimes asked to design and build new components to serve the specific function of the super computer. The most popular operating system used by super computers is either Unix or Linux. These operating systems are often selected because of their speed, stability and flexibility.
Super computers generally have several processors to ensure they have the necessary power to do the tasks they were supposed to do. Heat is a major problem when managing a super computer. Temperatures inside super computers can soar inside the computer and burn out the components. Therefore, a multifaceted cooling system must be employed to guarantee it's smooth operation. Liquid gases are often used for cooling purposes because they can get exceptionally cold.
In order to achieve the desired function of a super computer, it's developers must boost its performance by using two methods called pipelining and parallelism.
Pipelining allows multiple operations to occur at the same time in the CPU of super computers. Portions of data are grouped together according to what sequence they are going to go through and then the CPU will process them in sequence. With this method, the multiple logic circuits of the CPU are constantly in use with data flowing from one logic circuit to the other with no disruption.
Parallelism is a method in which data is processed in parallel instead of in series. There are a couple of ways to achieve parallelism. One is to include a number of logic circuits in the CPU that executes an analogous series of operations. One more way is to connect several CPUs together and synchronize their operations so that each CPU executes the required action at the precise time.
With the current speed of advancement and innovation in computer technology, we can expect super computers of the future to be faster and more powerful. Let us hope so, because I do think we need them.
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