Chapter 1. Getting Started with Supercomputing

The prefix super in the moniker supercomputer may, to the ill-informed, conjure up images of the electronic supervillain HAL 9000 in Arthur C. Clarke's classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey or the benevolent superhero Clark Kent, aka Superman, who inhabits the DC comic universe. However, the tag supercomputer is, in fact, associated with a non-fictional entity that has no ill-will towards humans - at least not at this moment in time. Supercomputing and supercomputers are the subject matter of this book.

In this chapter, we introduce the reader to the basics of supercomputing, or more precisely, parallel processing. Parallel processing is a computational technique that is currently enjoying widespread ...

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