Parallel Supercomputing Today and the Cedar Approach

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Science  28 Feb 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4741, pp. 967-974
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4741.967


More and more scientists and engineers are becoming interested in using supercomputers. Earlier barriers to using these machines are disappearing as software for their use improves. Meanwhile, new parallel supercomputer architectures are emerging that may provide rapid growth in performance. These systems may use a large number of processors with an intricate memory system that is both parallel and hierarchical; they will require even more advanced software. Compilers that restructure user programs to exploit the machine organization seem to be essential. A wide range of algorithms and applications is being developed in an effort to provide high parallel processing performance in many fields. The Cedar supercomputer, presently operating with eight processors in parallel, uses advanced system and applications software developed at the University of Illinois during the past 12 years. This software should allow the number of processors in Cedar to be doubled annually, providing rapid performance advances in the next decade.