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The architecture and programming of the Ametek series 2010 multicomputer

Seitz, Charles L. and Athas, William C. and Flaig, Charles M. and Martin, Alain J. and Seizovic, Jakov and Steele, Craig S. and Su, Wen-King (1988) The architecture and programming of the Ametek series 2010 multicomputer. In: Proceedings of the third conference on Hypercube concurrent computers and applications: Architecture, software, computer systems, and general issues. Vol.1. ACM , New York, NY, pp. 33-37. ISBN 0-89791-278-0.

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During the period following the completion of the Cosmic Cube experiment [1], and while commercial descendants of this first-generation multicomputer (message-passing concurrent computer) were spreading through a community that includes many of the attendees of this conference, members of our research group were developing a set of ideas about the physical design and programming for the second generation of medium-grain multicomputers. Our principal goal was to improve by as much as two orders of magnitude the relationship between message-passing and computing performance, and also to make the topology of the message-passing network practically invisible. Decreasing the communication latency relative to instruction execution times extends the application span of multicomputers from easily partitioned and distributed problems (eg, matrix computations, PDE solvers, finite element analysis, finite difference methods, distant or local field many-body problems, FFTs, ray tracing, distributed simulation of systems composed of loosely coupled physical processes) to computing problems characterized by “high flux” [2] or relatively fine-grain concurrent formulations [3, 4] (eg, searching, sorting, concurrent data structures, graph problems, signal processing, image processing, and distributed simulation of systems composed of many tightly coupled physical processes). Such applications place heavy demands on the message-passing network for high bandwidth, low latency, and non-local communication. Decreased message latency also improves the efficiency of the class of applications that have been developed on first-generation systems, and the insensitivity of message latency to process placement simplifies the concurrent formulation of application programs. Our other goals included a streamlined and easily layered set of message primitives, a node operating system based on a reactive programming model, open interfaces for accelerators and peripheral devices, and node performance improvements that could be achieved economically by using the same technology employed in contemporary workstation computers. By the autumn of 1986, these ideas had become sufficiently developed, molded together, and tested through simulation to be regarded as a complete architectural design. We were fortunate that the Ametek Computer Research Division was ready and willing to work with us to develop this system as a commercial product. The Ametek Series 2010 multicomputer is the result of this joint effort.

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Additional Information:© 1988 ACM. The research that led to the architectural design and system software of the Ametek Series 2010 was sponsored in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA order number 6202, and monitored by the Office of Naval Research under contract number N00014-87-K-0745; and in part by a grant from Ametek Computer Research Division. We very much appreciate the dedicated efforts and support of the employees and management of Ametek. Certain of the techniques described here are the subjects of patents filed by Caltech and by Ametek. The Cosmic Environment and Reactive Kernel are the property of Caltech, and are licensed to Ametek.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)6202
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-87-K-0745
Ametek CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161215-172443490
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Official Citation:C. L. Seitz, W. C. Athas, C. M. Flaig, A. J. Martin, J. Seizovic, C. S. Steele, and W-K. Su. 1988. The architecture and programming of the Ametek series 2010 multicomputer. In Proceedings of the third conference on Hypercube concurrent computers and applications: Architecture, software, computer systems, and general issues - Volume 1 (C3P), Geoffrey Fox (Ed.), Vol. 1. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 33-37. DOI=
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72881
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:16 Dec 2016 02:18
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:22

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