What Are Supercomputers? The Fastest Computing Machines!

Supercomputers are the fastest, smartest, and most powerful computer breed. They are computer engineering marvels designed for specific causes with an emphasis on quick result delivery. An average Supercomputer takes less than a second to do the maths that thousands of conventional computers combined can’t do.

what are supercomputers
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With Supercomputers come thousands of questions about them starting from their operational strength to their features and their working mechanism.

For years, Supercomputers were a subject of mystery and only the above-average minds had access to them. But super-thanks to the Information Age, Supercomputers are no longer a mystery. We are getting to know more about their technicalities and complexities with the passage of time.

In this article, we will unlock a general definition of Supercomputers with the core focus on discussing their features and applications.

What Are Supercomputers?

Supercomputers are the highest-class computing machines powered by thousands of processors to perform trillions of commands within a second. Primarily, Supercomputers are utilized to solve complex mathematical problems and manage extremely fast data processing.

Once restricted to being specifically deployed by government institutions for scientific analysis, Supercomputers are now part of the workforce of several private corporations and firms that use them in multiple domains.

While there are thousands of Supercomputers in the world, most of them operate using Linux-based operating systems. There are also Supercomputers that are based on custom operating systems and unique working methodologies.

How Does A Supercomputer Work?

A Supercomputer operates at the working mechanism of parallel computing. As per parallel computing, a Supercomputer splits a task into thousands of subtasks and localizes them to all the processors individually. As a massive workforce, thousands of CPUs work together with each unit collecting the information on an individual basis.

Every single processor operates within its domain to perform the subtask and share the data output with the central system of the Supercomputer. Parallel computing allows Supercomputers to handle an enormous amount of data and get results in the blink of an eye.

Features Of Supercomputers

Following are some of the significant features of Supercomputers that distinguish them from conventional computing machines.

Multiprocessors For Fast Results

A Supercomputer contains a web of thousands of Central Processing Units or processors with each having dozens of cores. All the processors combine their powers to increase the input and output capability of a Supercomputer. As a separate unit, each processor provides its output to the Supercomputer in solving a computational problem. The combined workforce of thousands of processors allows a Supercomputer to get results millions of times faster than conventional computers.

Infinite Data Storage

Unlike conventional computers, Supercomputers are built to store extremely large amounts of data. A Supercomputer of any type or any capacity can store data in multiple Petabytes. This translates to thousands of Terabytes or millions of Gigabytes or even trillions of Megabytes.

Massive RAM

Since Supercomputers have to deal with lots of data simultaneously, they should have a massive RAM capacity. While your personal computer contains 16-32 Gigabytes of RAM, a Supercomputer deploys millions of Gigabytes of RAM to perform tasks simultaneously. Compared with a general-purpose computer, the RAM capacity of a Supercomputer is literally jaw-dropping.

Uses Of Supercomputers

Supercomputers are big, expensive, and technically quite complex to operate. Since Supercomputers are best suited to solve big mathematical problems and not small ones, they are only used for the following purposes.

Scientific Research

From space to the ocean, Supercomputers assist scientists in unnumbered domains of science. Supercomputers are undeniably a huge asset to the scientific community. These big machines analyze the scientific phenomenons and provide their output in scientific research that greatly benefits humanity.

Nuclear Testing

Initially built to test nuclear weapons, Supercomputers are still doing their first job very well. Nuclear forces benefit from the powerful computing capabilities of Supercomputers to test nuclear warheads. Not only a Supercomputer analyzes the success or failure of a nuclear weapon, but it also traces the environmental impact of the nuclear test.

Weather Forecasting

The words that come out of the mouth of a weather forecaster during a news bulletin are basically the analysis of a Supercomputer on the weather. Yeah, Supercomputers do serve humans in the domain of weather forecasting as well. They inform us about a variety of weather conditions, including rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.


Supercomputers gather data for big corporations and companies in a bid to allow them to plan their business strategies accordingly. Taking a look at the massive data allows the companies to be aware of the market trends and make the right move. As a result, companies minimize their risks and increase their chances of launching successful business campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

The kind of calculations that Supercomputers do is utterly amazing. It is absolutely fascinating to realize how big and powerful these machines are. Whether it’s the multi-million Gigabyte memory or tens of thousands of processor cores, everything is mind-boggling about Supercomputers. Let’s admit it, we are going to need Supercomputers to dive into a sustainable future.

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Bilal Khan
Bilal Khan

Bilal might look like a Bearded Caucasian right out of a Viking movie but trust me he's a native Pakistani. He has a long list of hobbies among which staying updated on the Latest Technology and Hardware happens to be on the top. If you are looking for detailed hardware explanations through no tricky terminologies, follow him to read Tech Content curated perfectly for the human brain.

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