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Parallel computing in the commercial marketplace: research and innovation at work

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2 Author(s)
Hagersten, E. ; Sun Microsyst. Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA ; Papadopoulos, G.

This is a good time for parallel computer development and research in both academia and industry. The performance improvements predicted by Moore's Law have proven to be quite accurate over many years. However, the doubling of processor performance every 18 months cannot keep up with the growing demand of many applications. The performance of database applications has been doubling every nine to ten months. At last, parallel computer technology has come to play an important role in the commercial marketplace. Multiprocessing has been an active research area for almost 40 years and commercial parallel computers have been available for more than 35 years. After getting off to a slow start, this area has now taken off. Shared memory multiprocessors have dominated this development. This is an area that has sprung out of tireless research and numerous published breakthrough results. The article analyzes some of the reasons for the sudden acceptance of the relatively old parallel computing field, outlines the key properties of a successful parallel computer of the 1990's, and identifies some important research areas and key technologies for the future

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 3 )