Computers have become an essential tool in our quotidian lives. Very simple daily mundane activities as buying a train ticket or sending someone a message require the use of conventional computers. Of course, they play a very important role in more difficult tasks, as bank transfers for instance...
On the other hand, computers have also made possible many advances in Science and nowadays are patently present in a very wide set of different scientific areas. Indeed, many institutions around the World spend a huge amount of money and human effort to build clusters of computers (see for example, www.top500.org/lists/
for a detailed ranked list of the most powerful supercomputers in the World).
For some specific problems, conventional computers are not enough. They would spend thousands of years to perform some particular calculations. So in the framework of supercomputation one finds the Special Purpose Computers, which are developed and designed to perform any concrete heavy calculation.
In our Institute we have two special purpose computers. The first one, called Janus, was developed and designed in the last first decade of this century, being fully operative in 2008. More recently, the Janus Collaboration designed a second Janus generation machine called JanusII, that is at Bifi from end July 2013. In order to have more details regarding both special purpose computers, please click on the following:
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