The supercomputer on your desktop

Applications traditionally handled by the biggest of Big Iron are heading to the desktop

More apps likely to follow

David Bader, the executive director of high-performance computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, envisions several additional uses for HPC on the desktop in the next 10 years.

There are possibilities for discovering new trends among social networks or identifying their key influencers. Recommendations could be made for improving the energy efficiency of behaviors such as traffic routing to avoid congestion, scheduling computer applications to minimize energy usage, and monitoring a smart power grid, Bader says.

Other possibilities include the construction of 3D scenes from massive collections of public photographs and live transcriptions of teleconferences with speaker IDs.

Although experts agree that the largest supercomputers will be around for some time to come, it will be interesting to see what other traditional HPC applications will eventually come to reside on the desktop.

John Brandon is a veteran of the computing industry, having worked as an IT manager for 10 years and as a tech journalist for another 10. He has written more than 2,500 feature articles and is a regular contributor to Computerworld.

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