From Smartphones to Supercomputers

Who would have imagined that there will be a time when millions of people will carry smartphones, similar to mini computers, in their pockets? But thanks to the ever evolving technology, today this is an undeniable reality.

Most of us are in awe of these handy yet really smart and powerful small machines keeping us connected globally and making our work easier. Today we also have supercomputers that are millions of times more powerful than these mini computers. Just imagine the problem-solving abilities of these supercomputers while not ignoring the fact that presently these supercomputers could not fit in our pockets.

“Summit”—at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is one of the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputers. Its peak performance is 200,000 trillion or 200 petaflops calculations per second! And remember, developing the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) will require supercomputers, like Exascale which is said to be the next in the series of supercomputers, capable of quintillions (1018) calculations per second.

Awestruck by the sheer speed and power of these supercomputers, one immediate question that strikes our mind is: Why do we need these supercomputers? The answer is simple. We are witnessing exponential growth of data and these fastest high-performance computing systems phenomenally improve the traditional data processing approach. All this is cost-effective, time saving and above all, what matters the most, it helps us prepare better for the future.

Backed by data and powered by AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms, these machines are helping us to explore more and to demystify complexities of our world such as climate change, biological systems, renewable energy and nuclear weapons to name a few. This isn’t just about demystification but finding workable and sustainable solutions to our modern world problems and building a strong foundation to address future challenges.

Technology is evolving unbelievably fast. Future humans carrying ‘superphones’ like mini supercomputers in their pockets might seem an exaggeration today. But no wonder if tomorrow technology helps it become even a possibility, if not a reality.

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