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The growth of technical and commercial applications for high-performance computing, combined with the decline in the price of computers overall and the need to deliver new capabilities quickly, has led to the emergence of parallel computers and parallel computing. The newest of the desired applications include digital libraries, transaction processing, decision support, advanced multimedia, high-bandwidth networks, and data mining. Current high-performance applications from business and science also need a path to effective use of parallel computing. IBM has addressed this broad new territory with solutions that are general purpose and scalable and that operate readily within existing technical and commercial computing environments. These solutions are built on the firm foundation of RISC System/6000* workstation microprocessors with the AIX* operating system or on the well-established System/390* enterprise servers. The former solution—the IBM Scalable POWERparallel Systems*—is the focus of this special issue.
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