Supercomputing systems employ a large number of interdependent processors, which are the core unit of a computer that gathers instructions and data. These processors are mounted onto a compute chip, which is the portion of the system that carries out the instructions of a computer program. These compute chips are inserted onto a compute card, which also holds memory for the compute chips to use. A number of compute cards are attached to a node card, which have one or more processors with a common memory and are connected by high-speed interconnection networks. Each node card is inserted into a single cabinet, and that configuration is repeated many times to build a single supercomputing system.
Figure 1 shows the common components of a supercomputing system.