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Everything You Need to Know About Supercomputers

Everything you need to know about SUPERCOMPUTERS What is a supercomputer? A supercomputer is a powerful computer consisting of many processors that work in parallel to perform a complex task. Supercomputers are changing the way scientists study the origins of our universe, design new drugs for public health and forecast global weather patterns. The Energy Department's National Labs have some of the most significant high performance computing resources available, including 32 of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. SUPERCOMPUTER GLOSSARY Computer Cluster Operating System LINPACK Benchmark A computing cluster is a set of connected computers or processors that work together in such a way that they can be viewed a single system. An operating system is a software platform that manages the computer's memory, processes, and all of its software and hardware. The LINPACK Benchmark is a yardstick of performance for high performance computing systems that requires the computer to solve a dense system of linear equations. SPEED Flops Teraflop Petaflop Exaflop a unit of measurement for computer performance defined as floating point operations, essentially calculations, per second one trillion floating point operations per second one quadrillion floating point operations per second one quintillion floating point operations per second STORAGE PROCESSING Bytes Parallel Processing Central Processing Unit a unit of measurement for The CPU is a traditional processor with the circuitry necessary to perform and execute instructions from programs on the computer electronic data consisting of 8 bits Breaking a large task into many smaller ones to be performed simultaneously across multiple processors Terabyte one trillion bytes Graphics Processing Unit The GPU is a processor normaly used to power the display of images and motion on computer monitors. However, GPUS are equally suited to performing high end computations, such as those conducted on supercomputers, at higher speeds than the traditional CPU, or central processing unit. Petabyte one quadrillion bytes Core Exabyte A core is the independent hardware unit responsible for processing as part of a CPU or GPU. Each CPU or GPU in a supercomputer contains multiple cores. one quintillion bytes SUPERCOMPUTING: MODELING & SIMULATION Supercomputers are especially good for the modeling and simulation of complex, dynamic systems with many data points that would be too expensive, impractical or impossible to physically demonstrate. Data scientists write codes and algorithms that simulate each individual component of the model or process being explored. The Evolution of Our Universe Climate Change Scientists can use a supercomputer to simulate the formation of our universe, from the big bang to today. The computer simulates the interaction of small bits of matter, represented by particles, with the various laws of physics over time. As the simulation progresses, the small pieces of matter are pulled together by gravity into galaxies, galaxy clusters and superclusters. Supercomputers can be used to model the complex physical, biological and chemical processes that impact the Earth's climate over time. As supercomputers become even faster, scientists believe that they will be able to simulate the Earth's climate in even grea ter detail, perhaps down to the level of a single square kilometer. Biological Systems Weather Forecasting Renewable Energy Supercomputers can be used to create virtual simulations of complex biological systems, like organs. Such models can demonstrate processes like electrical flow in the heart or activity in the brain at the cellular level. Weather scientists use supercomputers to run models that predict global or regional weather conditions, ocean conditions, severe weather potential and hurricane development. Supercomputers can be used to simulate the operating conditions that impact renewable energy technologies, study new materials and transmission grid integration, and perform life cycle analyses. ANATOMY OF A SUPERCOMPUTER Chip A chip is a small electronic circuit fabricated on a piece of semiconducting material that serves as a microprocessor for the computer. Compute Card A compute card contains a chip and dynamic memory, which are known collectively as a node. Node Board The node board contains a collection of compute cards, which are connected by fiber optic cables and cooled by water or air. Fiber-optic cables are necessary for the high data transfer rate needed when linking the various parts of a supercomputer together. Prior to decommissioning, Los Alamos National Lab's Roadrunner was linked together by 57 miles of fiber optic cable. Compute cards Water lines pump water into the supercomputer to cool the sensitive electronics, boosting energy efficiency and maintaining reliability. Midplane Rack Each midplane holds a group of node boards, and includes a service card used for control, monitoring and diagnostic functions. A rack is a cabinet or case that contains a section of the supercomputer's hardware. Each rack contains two midplanes and most supercomputers are comprised of multiple racks. TOP 8 SUPERCOMPUTERS AT THE NATIONAL LABS TITAN SEQUOIA MIRA VULCAN Location: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Location: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Location: Argonne National Laboratory Location: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Speed: 8.59 PFlop/s Power: 3,945.00 kW Speed: 17.59 PFlop/s Speed: 4.29 PFlop/s Power: 1,972.00 kW Speed: 17.17 PFlop/s Power: 8,209.00 kW Year: 2012 Power: 7,890.00 kW Year: 2012 Year: 2011 Year: 2012 CIELO HOPPER ZIN INTREPID Location: Los Alamos National Laboratory Location: Argonne National Laboratory Location: Lawrence Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Livermore National Laboratory Speed: 1.11 PFlop/s Speed: 458.6 TFlop/s Speed: 773.7 TFlop/s Speed: 1.05 PFlop/s Power: 2,910.00 kW Power: 3,980.00 kW Power: 1,260.00 kW Power: 924.16 kW Year: 2011 Year: 2008 Year: 2010 Yoar: 2011 O ENERGY.GOV

Everything You Need to Know About Supercomputers

shared by sarahgerrity on Jan 08
In this infographic, we explain some of the complex terms associated with the speed, storage and processing on supercomputers; the game changing work being done with them; and the top 8 supercomputers...


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