The dirty secret of high performance computing

In the decades since Seymour Cray developed what is widely considered the world’s first supercomputer, the CDC 6600 (opens in new tab), an arms race has been waged in the high performance computing (HPC) community. The objective: to enhance performance, by any means, at any cost.

Propelled by advances in the fields of compute, storage, networking and software, the performance of leading systems has increased one trillion-fold since the unveiling of the CDC 6600 in 1964, from the millions of floating point operations per second (megaFLOPS) to the quintillions (exaFLOPS).

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