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Archives for July 2006

Is government intervention necessary for broader HPC adoption?

The largest computing systems have historically required government support, as the market for these machines is too small to interest most vendors. Even today, the US government purchases the biggest machines itself and pushes select corporations through DARPA’s High Productivity Computer Systems (HPCS) initiative. But such intervention does not guarantee economic sustainability. Indeed, commodization and […]

What will tomorrow's cluster applications look like?

In brief, tomorrow’s cluster applications will look a lot like today’s PC applications. The market right now for cluster software is so small that most codes tend to be written in-house. Eventually these programs are released publicly through an open source license, but still retain their home-grown feel. Even commercial software in this space feels […]

What is a clustered database?

A cluster is a collection of commodity components to provide scalability and availability at a low cost. With this in mind, it is possible to create a database cluster for high-end enterprise applications by storing and processing information on commodity nodes. The architecture for a clustered database is distinguished by how data responsibilities are shared […]

Are there accelerators for virtual machine execution?

Hardware acceleration for virtual machines such as the JVM and the CLR may greatly improve performance for some customers by speeding processing and decreasing the memory requirements. During the dot-com era, there were a number of companies (both startups and established players) who rushed to introduce Java processors, particularly for the embedded systems market. Most […]

What is ClearSpeed?

ClearSpeed is a company located in Bristol, UK, that produces co-processors for high-performance technical customers. The ClearSpeed CSX600 chip features 96 computing cores, each with its own memory (6 KB of SRAM). The processor as a whole features 25 GFLOPS of performance and consumes only 10 watts of power. Software is developed in C with […]

What effect will commoditization have on high-performance computing?

Technology acquisition decisions in any well-run company are based on the return-on-investment that a purchase will produce. This is what differentiates business customers from consumers, who buy to improve the quality of life. Thus, consumers will gladly pay for luxury items; businesses will not. For this reason, many corporations will take “adequate” over “superior.” One […]