HPC stands for high performance computing. Another name for a high performance computer is a supercomputer. Supercomputers are extremely powerful computers that rely on the combined power of sometimes thousands of individual processing units – the parts of computers that do the main calculations to make programs run. Unlike computing grids, the processors are all in one place in what is termed a cluster.
This makes running parallel computation tasks much more efficient, because less time is spent moving around information to be processed. When grids span continents, moving data can take a significant amount of time, a phenomenon known in computing terms as ‘latency.’