PARALLEL PROCESSING WITH CLUSTERED WORKSTATIONS

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 27421
Amount: $297,748.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1995
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Po Box 24344, Minneapolis, MN, 55424
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ranga S Ramanujan
 (612) 935-2035
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
NOWADAYS, MOST ORGANIZATIONS USE WORKSTATIONS THAT ARE ATTACHED TO A NETWORK TO CONDUCT THEIR DAILY OPERATIONS. THE USE OF A CLUSTER OF THESE WORKSTATIONS AS A PARALLEL PROCESSING SYSTEM CAN PROVIDE A VERY POWERFUL COMPUTATIONAL CAPABILITY AT A VERY LOW COST. HOWEVER, THE MAJOR IMPEDIMENT TO THE USE OF EXISTING TECHNIQUES FOR CLUSTERING WORKSTATIONS INTO A PARALLEL PROCESSOR IS THE EXCESSIVE PERFORMANCE OVERHEAD INCURRED BY THESE TECHNIQUES. EXISTING TECHNIQUES DELIVER ONLY A SMALL FRACTION OF THE POTENTIAL COMPUTATIONAL POWER OF A CLUSTER OF WORKSTATIONS. RESEARCHERS ARE ADDRESSING A NEW APPROACH FOR CLUSTERING WORKSTATIONS CALLED THE NETWORK SHARED MEMORY APPROACH THAT IS ATTRACTIVE BECAUSE OF THREE REASONS: (1) IT IS CAPABLE OF DELIVERING PERFORMANCE THAT IS AT LEAST AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE BETTER THAN THAT ATTAINABLE USING EXISTING TECHNIQUES FOR CLUSTERING WORKSTATIONS; (2) IT GREATLY SIMPLIFIES THE PROGRAMMING TASK BY PROVIDING A SHARED MEMORY ABSTRACTION TO THE PROGRAMMER; AND (3) THE COST OF ATTAINING THIS PERFORMANCE AND PROGRAMMABILITY IS SEVERAL TIMES LOWER THAN THAT OF COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE SHARED MEMORY PARALLEL PROCESSORS OF COMPARABLE COMPUTING POWER.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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