HPC Getting Started: What is HPC?

What is High Performance Computing?

High Performance Computing (HPC), sometimes called High Performance Technical Computing (HPTC) or just supercomputing, is a discipline using the fastest computers available to solve very large and complex problems. For a more detailed definition of HPC and some of its historical background, see the Wikipedia Supercomputing entry.

For many years supercomputing relied on custom processors and interconnects, but our cluster and most of the current generation of machines use commodity processor chips from mainstream chip manufacturers such as Intel, AMD, and IBM. Graphics chips called GPUs (for Graphic Processing Units) from AMD and NVIDIA are now commonly repurposed for High Performance Computing.

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