Have you ever wondered why a supercomputer is called a supercomputer? Is it the number of processors or the amount of RAM? Must a supercomputer occupy a certain amount of space, or consume a specific amount of power?
The first supercomputer, the Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6600, only had a single CPU. Released in 1964, the CDC 6600 was actually fairly small — about the size of four filing cabinets. It cost $8 million — around $60 million in today’s money — and operated at up to 40MHz, squeezing out a peak performance of 3 million floating point operations per second (flops).
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