See How One National Lab Uses HPC to Spur Innovation

What are the basics of High-Performance Computing?

High-performance computing (HPC) is a term used to describe the computation of an extremely large number of calculations in a practical amount of time. The two elements required to do this are a high-performance computer (with a speed in the teraflops range or greater) and software code that instructs the computer how to accomplish the calculations.

An example of HPC. Click image to learn more.

A traditional desktop computer has a single Central Processing Unit (CPU) and calculations are completed by breaking down a problem into a discrete series of instructions.  The instructions are executed by the computer one after another where only one instruction can be followed at any moment in time.  The hardware in High Performance Computers consists of multiple CPUs and is configured to run parallel computations.  In parallel computing, software directs the solution of many calculations at the same time for one large problem.  Each problem must be broken down into discrete parts that can be solved concurrently with the instructions written for each piece to be solved simultaneously on different CPUs. Learn more.

Featured Article

Lawrence Livermore to Use HPC to Advance Clean Energy Technology HPC Wire, a leading news service devoted specifically to developments in high-performance computing, reports on the announced HPC for Energy Incubator program of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  The article notes that the incubator program is an outgrowth of the HPC National Roadmap, which was kicked off in…

From the Blog

Laboratory Science Entwined with Rise in Computing


LIVERMORE scientists have been using computer simulations to attain breakthroughs in science and technology since the Laboratory’s founding. High-performance computing remains one of the Laboratory’s great strengths and will continue to be an important part of future research efforts. To…


Why use High-Performance Computing?

One benefit is that high-performance computing speeds up the process of innovation. To quote Deborah Wince-Smith of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, supercomputers “offer an extraordinary opportunity for the United States to design products and services faster, minimize the time to create and test prototypes, streamline production processes, lower…