Quantum Computing and High-performance Computers (“Supercomputers”). Supercomputers, well, high-performance computers, are attempting to solve similar modern-day issues we hope quantum computing will be able to solve. However, these systems are attempting this today while we wait for quantum. What are they and how might they differ from quantum computers?
12th November 2018 was a big day in the upper echelons of computing. On this date, during the SC18 supercomputing conference in Dallas, Texas, the much-anticipated Top500 list was released.
Published twice a year since 1993, this is the list of the world’s 500 fastest computers, and a place at the top of the list remains a matter of considerable national pride. On this occasion, the USA retained the top position and also gained second place, following several years in which China occupied one or both of the top two places.
Commonly referred to as supercomputers, although the term high-performance computers (HPC) is often used by those in the know, these monsters bear little resemblance to the PCs that sit on our desks.
The world’s fastest computer is called Summit and is located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It has 2,397,824 processor cores, provided by 22-core IBM Power9 processors clocked at 3.07GHz and Nvidia Volta Tensor Core GPUs, 10 petabytes (PB) of memory (10 million GB) and 250PB of storage.