By Laura Panjwani – High-performance computers (HPC), also known as supercomputers, give scientists the power to solve extremely complex or data intensive problems by concentrating the processing power of multiple, parallel computers.
Performance of a supercomputer is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of million instructions per second (MIPS), the measurement used in conventional computing.
The technology has a plethora of applications—including quantum mechanics, climate research, oil and gas exploration, chemistry, aerospace and automotive technologies, and much more.
In addition to environmental applications, supercomputers are also key to many up-and-coming technologies, including autonomous vehicles. In our article, “Using Deep Learning, AI Supercomputing, NVIDIA Works to Make Fully Self-Driving Cars a Reality” we highlighted Xavier, a complete system-on-chip (SoC) that integrates a new graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture called Volta, a custom 8 core CPU architecture, and a new computer vision accelerator. It features 9 billion transistors and a processor that will deliver 30 trillion operations per second (TOPS) of performance, while consuming only 30 watts of power.
This technology is the most complex SOC ever created and is a key part of the NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus AI computing platform, the world’s first AI car supercomputer designed for fully autonomous Level 5 robotaxis. more>