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A supercomputer is one which is generally larger or faster than others of its generation. The first supercomputers were the IBM 7030 Stretch and the CDC 6600.

Generally leading-edge techniques pioneered in supercomputers (to reach their 'far-out' speed goals) appear as standard approaches in later generations: e.g. pipelines and superscalar organization, for the two above; out-of-order execution, for the later IBM 360/91.