When you think of supercomputers, you might picture an all-powerful system running on some kind of supercomputer hardware or a supercomputer running on a supercomputing platform.
But the world’s most powerful computer is actually running on an extremely small system, a cleanroom.
Researchers at the University of Southern California have done an analysis of cleanroom temperatures to show that the supercomputer runs at very low temperatures, just enough to keep the room clean.
In this new study, the researchers created a model of the cleanroom to determine if it’s possible to create an entirely clean environment.
The model shows that a clean room would need a temperature of less than 20°C.
In the study, they simulated a scenario in which the supercomputation would be running on the temperature of the room, which is only a little over 10°C, or about 5.6 degrees Celsius.
In this model, the superconducting magnets in the clean room were cooled to -196°C or about -14 degrees Celsius below absolute zero.
This is a far cry from the temperatures of the superconductor in the vacuum chambers, which are about -140°C below absolute Zero.
It’s an incredibly rare thing to get an entirely safe environment for a superconductor, the team writes.
The researchers hope that this new work will be a catalyst for future research into cleanroom technology, and that it will lead to the development of a clean and safe supercomputer.
“This work was really important for the researchers because they are looking at a new type of clean room, and we hope it will inspire other scientists to try and create this kind of environment,” co-author and research scientist Daniel C. Hulme said in a statement.
“I think it would be really cool to work on this project again in the future, and it would open the door to other scientists working on the cleanrooms.”
The researchers’ new work is published in the journal Science Advances.