Minimalist Wiki

AI-generated ELI5 & Minimalist Encyclopedia

High-performance computing

TLDR: High-performance computing (HPC) uses supercomputers and computer clusters to solve complex problems. It combines various fields like digital electronics, computer architecture, programming languages, and algorithms. HPC is commonly used in scientific research, engineering, and business applications.

High-performance computing (HPC) is all about using supercomputers and computer clusters to tackle really tough problems. It brings together different areas of expertise like digital electronics, computer architecture, programming languages, and algorithms. HPC is often used in scientific research, engineering, and even business applications.

HPC systems have evolved from supercomputers to computing clusters and grids. These systems rely on networking, so they use a collapsed network backbone to make troubleshooting and upgrades easier.

HPC is closely associated with scientific research and computational science. It's also used in engineering applications like computational fluid dynamics and virtual prototyping. In the business world, HPC is used for data warehouses, line-of-business applications, and transaction processing.

The term "high-performance computing" came about after "supercomputing," and sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably. However, "supercomputer" usually refers to a more powerful subset of high-performance computers. This can cause some confusion.

One challenge with HPC is that many current applications are not designed to scale up to more powerful processors or machines. This can cause problems when networking clusters and grids with multiple processors and computers. The HPC community either needs new tools or is unaware of existing ones to address these scaling issues.

HPC is used in various fields, such as simulating car crashes for structural design, molecular interaction for drug design, and airflow over vehicles. In government and research institutions, HPC is used to simulate galaxy creation, fusion energy, global warming, and weather forecasting.

The TOP500 list ranks the world's 500 fastest high-performance computers based on the High Performance LINPACK benchmark. This list is updated twice a year and provides insights into the most powerful HPC systems.

Cloud computing has also become popular in HPC. Traditionally, HPC required on-premises infrastructure with supercomputers or computer clusters. But now, cloud computing offers computer resources to commercial users, regardless of their investment capabilities. However, security concerns like data confidentiality are still considered when choosing between cloud or on-premise HPC resources.

In addition to HPC, you might be interested in learning about distributed computing, parallel computing, computational science, quantum computing, and grid computing.

Related Links:

See the corresponding article on Wikipedia ยป

Note: This content was algorithmically generated using an AI/LLM trained-on and with access to Wikipedia as a knowledge source. Wikipedia content may be subject to the CC BY-SA license.