What is Super Computer? How does it work?


How are you all? I hope all of you are fine for most merciful god’s blessings. I’m also fine for that great god’s blessing and for your prayer. Today I presented with a new tips. You have understood by seeing the above title that, today I will show you “What is Super Computer?”.

If we go back in the half century before, the smallest computer of that time used to capture a total room. And today most powerful computers have been set in pockets than previous computer instead of the microchip. But have you ever thought if with recent small chips any home size’s computer is made then how much that will be strong? In this way is this possible to make super computer? Which super computing power is a million times more than your or my laptop or desktop and will it solve any complicated scientific problem? Today’s question is, which feature can help to make a normal computer into super computer? How is different a super computer, then your used computer?

Does Supercomputing Mean Superfast Computing?


Let’s know about all information details about supercomputing.


What is a super computer?

So, for which features a computer is called super computer? Is it for flying? Is it for coming out laser light from the computer’s CPU? Or is it for staying build in ammo and cannon with a computer? Hey 1 minute! It is not a superman, it is super computer.

In easy language which computer is very fast, can solve complicated problems, can say weather report or can say now how will be weather of 2050 year and can work this type of extraordinary thing, these computers are called super computer. Now you may ask how fast this computer works. If I add more ram, more core processor and more GPU in my computer, then can I also able to make super computer. Actually to say in “easy language” which definition I have given about super computer, to understand this totally you have to know first about some terms.


See we need to know actually what is computer before entering into today’s first question? – It is mainly a machine, which completes any normal work. It accepts first inputting data for doing some work, then it processes that in own power, and at last one output results highlights in front of you. Actually it doesn’t mean that supercomputing means it has to be any massive giant type computer or it has to be fast million-billion times than your normal computer, it doesn’t like that at all; actually uses a totally different process for completing any work. It works not only one thing like normal desktop or laptop, but also it works many things together. And it is mainly that feature which makes a computer super computer.

Serial and parallel processing:

What is the difference between serial and parallel processing? One normal computer works only one work in one minute, in other word processing it by one by one and gives an output of work for completing any work. And it is called Serial Processing. Now you may say, “With my computer I play music at one time, browse internet also render video and you are saying it works at one time only?” Actually, your computer completes several million commands in per second, in its working serially one by one, it seems to you real time. Let’s try to clear more this matter through a beautiful example.

Imagine about one normal shopper, suppose you went into his shop and said him to give 1kg flour. Now what will he do, he will get up from his seat, then will go to the flour packet, will take that flour packet and you’re given cash will give by calculating them. Now see, how fast he got up from his seat or how fast he gave in your hand flour, this is not the main subject. The main subject is- he is doing only one work at a particular time. How fast he supplies service to you, but he is doing work at one time and after one by one he is supplying a service to you through working. In this way normal computers complete work.

But today’s modern super computers work by using a totally different process. It divides any work into several parts and processes that together and system of working is called Parallel Processing. According to upper example, now think that you went in any shop and bought 1 kg flour, 1 litre oil and 1 kg sugar. Now suppose there are 3 people together with that people to help him. Then they will choose one different work to supply things. Someone will bring sugar, someone will bring oil or someone will supply flour and in this same time you will finish money transactions with that shopper. Note that, though everyone brings different things at the same time, but all have come to you together. In this way how many things you want to buy if there many people work, then it is possible to work many things very fast at the same time. And these are- parallel processing, theoretically our brain also works by parallel process. In same time you are reading this article and at the same time your brain has worked internal activities of your body.

Why parallel processing is required in supercomputing?

Our daily used computers don’t need to be so efficient. Your computer spends very less processing power for browsing internet, sending email or typing. But if you want to work very complicated like, you want to change very big regulation photo colour, then your computer has to process very much, many times it takes time to complete this until several minutes. Or if you want to play game in computer excluding internet browsing, sending email, or typing, but you will need a very fast processor, dedicated GPU and excess memory ram, or your system will work slowly. If you set fast processor and double memory, then your computer will start to work very fast dramatically. But how fast? This speed has also limit- because one processor can work only one at the same time.


Now suppose you are one scientist and you work in any weather office. You have to work together weather forecast, medicine, test of new cancer and modelling climate until 2050. Now you can upgrade processor and large memory of your memory to complete these works, though it will work than previously, but after then also there is a limit to do the work. But if your works are divided into one piece and each piece is worked with different processors, means it is done by parallel processing, but your works will be possible to do with skill and very fast than previous.

Parallel Computing:

Super computer is made and it needs many processors together for supercomputing in which that works parallel together, in the same time it completes many works. The fastest super computer’s name is The Sunway TaihuLight of present time. There are 64 bits 40, 960 processors in it and each processor chip has 256 processing core. In other words, there are 10, 649, 600 processors around this total computer.

Parallel computing is an appropriate system for supercomputing, but parallel computing has some serious problem. Again, let’s go back to the example of that shop, but this time we will take the example with supermarkets. Suppose you went to supermarket with some friends for buying some things. Now if you send each friend in different counter to take some things, then in very less time your things will be bought, and at the end of the shopping all things will be united to you. Like this way, dividing any work into pieces and completing that by several processor and gathering that piece super computer gives output.

But if any work is very big then dividing that work into pieces, sending that to processors and at the end of work, gathering all pieces-in case of computer it becomes very complicated. Another management system is needed for those working through which dividing each work it is sent to processors and returned pieces are given output by gathering. But many processing power needs for processing this management the system which can overload system. Like, Windows OS Task Manager- it shows mainly processing of all programs, but some processing power needs to show these.

Sending your friends in several counters, it may need very less time and you can complete shopping in very less time, but you will get late at the time of payment money. Suppose you have come to shop million things together and 50,000 friends have collected that thing from several counters. If you would shop total from one counter, then cash problem would solve in one counter, but as a result of shopping in several counters one problem has been divided into 50,000 problems.


Suppose similarly that you commanded in computer for giving the weather report of the coming week of the world. Now dividing all this work your computer will send this to your several processors for processing, if you would do this work in one processor then at one time all processing would be finished. But for processing in different processor in each processor weather report of several countries will be processed differently. But the problem may be more serious, because weather of several countries of the world may be separate totally from another country. As a result of this one processor has to wait till the ending of another processor and another processor will need for solving problem. So super computer needs to work some way parallels and also serially for processing.

Super Computing:

Types of super computer:

Grid Super Computing:

In one massive box it is possible to work very complicated and making super computer by setting thousands processor, ram and GPU and processing parallel. Or if you want them in the same room you can make super computer with very fast LAN cable with another lots of PCs together. This type of super computer is called a cluster. Using this type of computer, Google gives to their users search result.


Another type of super computer is a Grid, which is like a cluster, but different computers are situated in different sides of the world, and these are connected with each other by using the internet or other computer network. This is so far example of distributed computing, where computers situated in several places of the world work together in the same network. You can say it virtual supercomputing also. The grid makes supercomputer by keeping connected computer in several research center of the world with each other. Each computer situated in Grid, doesn’t work together or they don’t need to work, but it makes together one strong computing system.


Cluster super computers are kept together around a massive place many times that will be will be equal of 3/4 football fields. And this gigantic computer needs to run one massive quantity’s electricity, it is possible to run thousands home by this quantity electricity. To lead these super computers million dollar needs for spending this quantity electricity cost.

And super computers make so much heat, because when electricity is flowing through any cable, then in it heat energy is also produced. And for this it needs a cooling system of your normal computer. But it is not possible to make cool this massive and big computers by normal fan. Nowadays, modern super computers are made cool by liquid, like which process refrigerator does. For leading this cooling system massive electricity is spent and also second is-it is also harmful for the environment.

In which software does super computer run?

I’ve said that before, the computer is such a machine by which it is possible to do all normal work. If you want, you can run the computer’s operating system by using in super computer, like windows! But most of the super computer run on depending Linux operating system. This operating system is very customized, means it is made only with particular work’s features. As super computers are used for solving mainly several scientific problems, tell us what features need to stay there for other purposes?

For what work does supercomputing need?

As computer is a machine for all normal work so if you want, then you can browse the internet, send mail, edit photo, video, games even read an article in Thementalclub. Like your normal computers, You will need to run several programs at system. Like you need several apps for several working on your Android or iPhone, these are computer program but its stay in different names.

All these works are not done in Super computer. It is used for solving several complicated mathematical problems, scientific research, nuclear missile test, weather forecast, climate change, examine of encryption heaviness. But theoretically it is possible to work with super computer which your normal computer does.

How much super computer is strong?

Normal computers enter their work’s power MIPS or million instructions per second. It instructs that, how many commands (read, write. Data store) that system can process to complete any work. Through MIPS it is easy to compare between two processors, which processor can work, how much in MIPS that is described as that much strong. Generally, we know it as a processor speed which mainly is published as gigahertz.

But the working power of super computers is published differently. As these computers are sued for scientific work so its power is calculated FLOPS or Floating Point Operations per Second. It is an efficient process to calculate any computer’s effective power. So let’s try to understand this two term through small example….

Suppose, you are seeing a football match, you are seeing at present there is a ball near to 1 no player, he passed that ball to 2 no player who is in the middle of the field, 2 no player passed the ball to 3 no player near to goal- and 3 no player did goal by entering the ball into the goal by hitting hardly and brilliantly. And in this way 3 goals are done through several player hits. Now, here MIPS means- to complete a goal, the ball has entered by getting hit how many times from several players. And FLOPS means- how many goals that team has given? In other word per second processor has to follow how many million commands for doing one work, it is published by MIPS and per second how many works are completed, it is published by FLOPS.

Unit FLOPS Power form Example Key decade
Hundred FLOPS 100 FLOPS 10^2 FLOPS Eniac 1940s
KFLOPS (kiloflops) 1,000 FLOPS 10^3 FLOPS IBM 704 1950s
MFLOPS (megaflops) 1,000,000 FLOPS 10^6 FLOPS CDC 6600 1960s
GFLOPS (gigaflops) 1,000,000,000 FLOPS 10^9 FLOPS Cray-2 1980s
TFLOPS (teraflops) 1,000,000,000,000 FLOPS 10^12 FLOPS ASCI Red 1990s
PFLOPS (petaflops) 1,000,000,000,000,000 FLOPS 10^15 FLOPS Jaguar 2010s

The fastest 5 super computers of the world:

Year Supercomputer Peak speed (Rmax) Location
2016 Sunway TaihuLight 93.01 PFLOPS Wuxi, China
2013 NUDT Tianhe-2 33.86 PFLOPS Guangzhou, China
2012 Cray Titan 17.59 PFLOPS Oak Ridge, U.S.
2012 IBM Sequoia 17.17 PFLOPS Livermore, U.S.
2011 Fujitsu K computer 10.51 PFLOPS Kobe, Japan

In spite of this, to get the latest super computer and to get others information you can visit https://www.top500.org/.

Last word:

From the side of computing, we have earned day by day one commendable power. Nowadays computing device power of pocket is so much powerful than equally to room of the previous 20 years. Today we have reached almost at the top of supercomputing, now we are waiting for quantum. Very soon it will become the real shape of it. I hope you have liked it very much, especially at the time of writing article I also got fun, thank you for reading this gigantic post attentively, don’t forget to comment below for any type of discussion or question about supercomputing. And as usual don’t forget to share this post more.

Thank You All…

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