News: Supercomputers crunching potato chips, proteins and nuclear bombs

sdy284 - December 5, 2006 08:37AM in OCC News

The chess match between Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue in 1997 was the showdown of man vs. machine: the world's greatest chess player verses the world's greatest chess-playing computer. Deep Blue, a supercomputer that could calculate more than 200 million moves a second, defeated Kasparov 2 games to 1, with three games ending in a draw. Deep Blue's match win was the first by a chess-playing computer in a traditional format over a reigning world champion. Fast-forward nine years and supercomputers -- systems with multiple processors, huge memories and storage, and special software for performing the world's most complex calculations -- are doing far more than checkmating grandmasters. Today's supercomputers are ensuring the nation's nuclear stockpile, forecasting weather, designing safer more fuel-efficient cars, mapping DNA, exploring the cosmos and even creating potato chips.

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