It’s common for large supercomputers to comprise legions of processor cores spread along rows of equipment, like the Sequoia machine in California that has 1.6 million processor cores within 96 racks.

The Computer History Museum displays pieces of some of these massive machines from the past.

Parts of the Cray-1 supercomputer on display exemplify the importance of supercomputers in the public and private sectors. Large companies, research labs and military agencies use supercomputers to handle complex, massive calculations and procedures, like weapons systems and scientific simulations. Supercomputers allow scientists to perform calculations and functions they wouldn’t be able to solve otherwise.

Hilton Collins, Staff Writer
Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.