History of Supercomputing and Supercomputer Centers

History of Supercomputing and Supercomputer Centers

Jeffrey S. Cook (Independent Researcher, USA) and Neha Gupta (Northeastern University, USA & Osmania University, India)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7461-5.ch002
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This chapter begins with the definition of supercomputers and shifts to how the supercomputers have evolved since the 1930s. Supercomputing need is stressed, including issues in time and cost of resources currently faced by the researchers. The chapter transitions to an overview of the supercomputing era with a small biography of Seymour Cray. The timeline of Cray's history and various Cray inventions are discussed. The works of Fujitsu, Hitachi, Intel, and NEC are clearly demonstrated. A section on Beowulfs and S1 supercomputers is provided. A discussion on applications of supercomputing in healthcare and how Dell is emerging in its supercomputing abilities in 21st century are cohesively explained. The focus is shifted to the petaflop computing in the 21st century, current trends in supercomputing, and the future of supercomputing. The details of some of the global supercomputing centers in the Top500 list of fastest supercomputers in the world are also provided.
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The Issue Of Cost And Time

Construction of supercomputers is an awesome but very expensive process. The most recent development costs of supercomputers varied between 150 to 500 million dollars (USD $) or more. Particularly, this entire process draws on all the resources a company has. This is one of the main reasons that the development of a supercomputer is kept very hush-hush (Robat, 2013). Some of the companies contributing to the computing developments include Amdahl, Burroughs, CDC, Cray, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, NEC, SGI, Sun, Texas Instruments, Thinking Machines, Univac (Robat, 2013).

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