Expo/Computation/The Metacomputer

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Caption, Credits and Copyright: Top 500 Systems

The diagram shows the 500 most powerful computers in service over the past 2.5 years, clearly showing a migration to systems built from "commodity" or "off-the-shelf" processors. Also seen in this diagram is the continued importance of shared memory systems (SMP).


SMP - Symmetric Multiprocessor Systems.

These systems generally feature multiple processors sharing a common memory. Specialized systems include the parallel vector archictecture systems from Cray Research (C-90, Y-MP, etc.), while the commodity systems include SGI PowerChallengeArray, and Convex Exemplar machines.

MPP - Massively Parallel Systems.

These systems feature mutliple processors, each with independent memory, and a network connecting the processors for exchange of messages and data. Specialized systems include machines from Thinking Machines Corp. and Parsytec. Commodity systems include machines such as the Cray T3D and IBM SP-2.

This diagram was created by Larry Smarr, Director, NCSA and is based on the TOP500 List on worldwide deployment of current HPCC systems compiled by Netlib (University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and the University of Mannheim.

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Copyright, (c) 1995: Board of Trustees, University of Illinois

NCSA. Last modified 11/29/95.