Q&A: Getting excited about supercomputing

We speak with an Intel supercomputing specialist about how HPC can help businesses and where the market is going.

Supercomputing has always been an exciting area of the tech industry.

Insane amounts of processing power and storage capacities have been known to send tingles down the spine of many an IT geek.

Around 10 years ago it was considered a niche area, but the high performance computing (HPC) market is now something which businesses of all kinds can start getting excited about.

We quizzed Stephan Gillich, Intel director for HPC in EMEA, about how companies can use some of the most high-tech equipment around and what we can expect to see from the HPC industry in the coming years.

Is now the time businesses of various sizes should be getting excited about HPC?

There are still a lot of people who think HPC is niche, but it's actually not. If you look around all the big companies, in one way or another, directly or indirectly, they use HPC applications. It is fairly wide reaching.

We see that development ongoing because of two reasons. One is the technology development allows more users to really use HPC for the purpose they want.

Certain simulations, which are obviously the key application of HPC, have a certain need of performance to be useful. You could have had this performance already 10 years ago, but it was much more costly... and it was complicated to put it together in a working way.

A development we made in the performance on the microprocessor side and on other key system components, we've brought this to the masses. I usually talk about the democratisation of HPC because we actually bring the capabilities to many more companies and researchers to do those simulations which are interesting for them.

We really need to make sure those people can use HPC in an easy way and that is key because otherwise they won't use it.

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