It's not just humans that have to keep up the pace as technological innovation continues to accelerate worldwide. Computers are also moving faster and more efficiently, transforming into "supercomputers" in order to sustain operational capabilities across large-scale demands.
Supercomputers are specifically designed to handle billions of inputs every in second and operate using hundreds and sometimes thousands of cores. Here's a lowdown of 10 of the worlds most powerful supercomputers.
10. SuperMUC, Germany
The SuperMUC, housed at the Leibniz centre in Germany is listed as the tenth most powerful supercomputer in the world. The digital brain holds 150,000 processing cores and is able to preform at 2.9 petaflops.
9. Vulcan, United States
Meet Vulcan, an American supercomputer code. Vulcan is one of the four supercomputers that run on IBM's BlueGene/Q platform. It harnesses 400,000 cores and preforms at 4.3 petaflops. Vulcan is used by the US department of Energy's National Nuclear Safety Administration at the Livermore National Laboratory.
8. JuQUEEN, Germany
JuQueen is the world's eighth most powerful supercomputer. It also runs on IBM's BlueGene/Q platform and operates on 459,000 cores. JuQueen was built to replace the JUGENE supercomputer which was ranked 9th on the 2010 TOP 500 supercomputers list.
7. Stampede, United States
Stampede was born in November 2012, its funding being derived from a National Science Foundation award. Housed in Texas this supercomputer runs on Intel Xeon E5 8-core 2.7GHz processors backed up by Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. Stampede's performance runs at 5.2 petaflops on 462,000 cores and is open to use by scientists and researchers from all fields of research and science.
6. Piz Daint, Switzerland
Piz Daint is a Swiss supercomputer, which runs on Intel Xeon E5 processors and features NVIDIA graphical processing units. It has 116,000 cores and is capable of 6.3 petaflops of performance, however it is the most energy efficient of the ten, with an energy efficacy level of 3,185.9 megafops per watt.
Piz Daint: Source
5. Mira, United States
Mira is another supercomputer that uses IBM's BlueGene/Q platform. Housed in the Argonne National Laboratory Mira has a performance of 8.6 petaflops and 786,000 cores. Its uses are broken down into three percentages. 60% of Mira's capacity is utilised by researchers and 30% is used for the Advanced Science Computing Research Leadership Computing Challenge. The remaining 10% is reserved for urgent and time sensitive computation.
4. K Computer, Japan
The K computer is the only supercomputer in Japan and in 2011 was ranked number one on the list of the world's most powerful computers. It now stands at position four due to its 10.5 petaflops performance and 750,000 cores. The K computer is incredibly unique and does not run on IBM architecture but instead on Fujitsu's own SPARC64 VIIIfx octo-core processor.
K Computer: Source
3. Sequoia, United States
The Sequoia supercomputer was ranked at position one in June 2012 but has since dropped to position three. Holding 1.6 million processing a core that provide it with 17.2 petaflops of performance; that's the equivalent of 1,000 trillion operations per second.
2. Titan, United States
The Titan supercomputer operates on the Cray system and runs on an Opteron 6274 16-core 2.2GHz processor. This processor is boosted by NVIDIA GPUs, which when combined with 561,000 cores delivers 17.6 petaflops of performance. Titan lives in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
1. Tianhe-2, China
Tianhe-2 was incubated by China's National University of Defence Technology and stands at number one! Tianhe-2's name translates to milk-way 2 and has a performance of 33.9 petaflops running on a mixture of Intel Xeon E5 processors, custom processors and Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. This supercomputer boasts 3,120,000 cores and it's configuration is constantly being upgraded on a monthly basis.