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Supercomputers are computers with 10.000s of cores of consumer-like CPUs. So it is the opposite of your impression. They can only work with tremendously parallelizable tasks. I don't know the exact details of weather simulation or nuclear explosion but they would have to be parallelized to work on HPCs. Even if the computation is not parallelizable, the scientists can leverage supercomputers by running a simulation with randomized parameters at every node and reach a consensus result.



There is a difference between parallelizable and embarrassingly parallelizable. The former means that you can get better performance by dividing the work among different processors, while the latter usually implies that the work can be dividing into independent units of work that don’t need to communicate with each other.

A supercomputer typically means that those thousands of cores are connected with fast and expensive interconnects so that the cores can communicate with low latency. A large portion of the budget is usually spent on this interconnect. If you have an embarrassingly parallel problem and you run it on a supercomputer then that expensive interconnect is sitting idle - you would get the same performance on AWS or a more standard compute cluster.




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