Document Type

Article

Date

1993

Embargo Period

1-2011

Keywords

Workstation-based supercomputing, Communications techniques, Hardware and software support

Language

English

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Description/Abstract

The proliferation of high performance workstations and the emergence of high speed networks have attracted a lot of interest in workstation-based supercomputing. We project that workstation-based environments with supercomputing capabilities will be available in the not-so-distant future. However a number of hardware and software issues have to be resolved before the full potential of these workstation-based supercomputing environments can be exploited. The presented research has two main objectives: (1) to investigate the limitations of communications techniques used in current workstation-based systems and to identify a set of requirements that must be satisfied to achieve workstation-based supercomputing; (2) to use these requirements to develop software and hardware support that enables workstation-based supercomputing. The performance of two applications, the LU factorization of dense matrices and the calculation of FFT, on two platforms, the iPSC/860 supercomputer and on a cluster of general-purpose workstations, is used in the analysis to identify the limitations of current workstation clusters and to show that if these limitations are overcome, the clusters can provide comparable performance to that offered by an expensive supercomputer.

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