Supercomputers are perhaps the pinnacle of computing - machines capable of doing in seconds work that would take a PC years to carry out.
As with any computer, the performance of these warehouse-sized installations continues to increase exponentially, to the point where modern supercomputers are able to analyse quantities of data that would have been unthinkable at the turn of the century.
Over the following pages you'll see the most powerful machines in the world from the past 15 years and the performance records they've broken along the way.
Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.