Browse Definitions:

desktop supercomputer (personal supercomputer)

Desktop supercomputer (or personal supercomputer) is a term used to describe any exceptionally powerful computer that can be placed at a single workstation. Currently available desktop supercomputers include the Cray CX1, the Nvidia Tesla and the Asus ECS 1000.

The most common approach to desktop supercomputing is the combination of multiple microprocessors into a single machine. This approach is called multiprocessing, coprocessing, or parallel processing. In one method, numerous microprocessors are connected in a manner similar to the way the individual computers are connected in a local area network (LAN). This arrangement allows each processor to work on a different part of a large task.

According to some experts, cloud computing will make it possible to turn any system into a supercomputer by allowing the user to purchase as much processing power as desired.

As it becomes possible to fit more processing power into even more compact spaces, smaller devices may be considered supercomputers. According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, current mobile phones could qualify:

"A billion people on the planet are carrying supercomputers in their hands. Now you think of them as mobile phones, but that's not what they really are. They're video cameras. They're GPS devices. They're powerful computers. They have powerful screens. They can do many many different things, and oh, by the way, you can talk on them too. That's what the mobile phone of today is."
This was last updated in May 2010

Continue Reading About desktop supercomputer (personal supercomputer)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...




  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

  • all-flash array (AFA)

    An all-flash array (AFA), also known as a solid-state storage disk system, is an external storage array that uses only flash ...

  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.