Massively Parallel Processor Machines: The Present and Future of Superconputing
Baker, Kirby L.
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For my Senior Individualized Project, I researched the new age of supercomputers called Massively Parallel Processor machines(MPP's). MPP's are the present and future of supercomputing, putting to rest the traditional vector supercomputer that was mastered by Cray Research. In this new age of supercomputing, there are several different companies striving for control of the market, most of which are new to the supercomputer market. The new firms include Thinking Machines Corporation, nCube Corporation, and Kendall Square Research. There are several different types of MPP design, the hypercube, the fat-tree, the three dimensional torus, in addition to several other topology types that are less popular. Due to the number of different types of topologies, the focus of this paper covers the topology types in depth, and also touches on some of the other factors in the MPP design. This thesis describes the different techniques used by several different MPP designers, with a focus on the Connection Machine series created by Thinking Machines Corporation, as they are one of the most popular MPP designs as well as one of the market leaders. In the first five chapters of this paper, the theoretical aspects of MPP design and implementation are discussed. The last four chapters of the paper discuss several different MPP machines that are currently on the market, and how they have implemented the theoretical aspects.