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A supercomputer is a computer that leads the world in terms of processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation, at the time of its introduction.

Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems involving quantum mechanical physics, weather forecasting, climate research (including research into global warming), molecular modeling (computing the structures and properties of chemical compounds, biological macromolecules, polymers, and crystals), physical simulations (such as simulation of airplanes in wind tunnels, simulation of the detonation of nuclear weapons, and research into nuclear fusion), cryptanalysis, and the like.

Major universities, military agencies and scientific research laboratories are heavy users.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Supercomputer", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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