Cover image for Understanding parallel supercomputing
Understanding parallel supercomputing
Hord, R. Michael, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Piscataway, NJ : IEEE Press ; New York : Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, [1998]

Physical Description:
xiii, 356 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.58 .H68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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UNDERSTANDING PARALLEL SUPERCOMPUTING is an exhaustive, applications-oriented survey of the world's largest and fastest computers. Beginning with the evolution of parallel supercomputing technology in recent history, author R. Michael Hord goes on to illustrate architectural concepts and implementations at the very center of today's cutting-edge technology. Topics featured include: technology benefits and drawbacks, software tools and programming languages, major programming concepts, sample parallel programs, algorithmic methods, both SIMD and MIMD architectures. This carefully written text will be of interest to engineers, scientists, and program managers involved in geologic exploration, aircraft design, image processing, weather modeling, operations, research, chemical synthesis, and medical applications. It will also be of practical use to computer specialists.

Author Notes

About the Author R. MICHAEL HORD is a national leader in high-performance computing and is presently a member of the senior technical staff at DBA Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Titan Corporation. His prior experience includes positions with MRJ, Inc., General Research Corporation, and Institute for Advanced Computation, among others. Mr. Hord has also worked under contract for NASA and the Air Force where he and his staff assessed technology readiness for future space systems and performed application analysis for innovative on-board processor architectures. Mr. Hord has written seven books and scores of papers addressing advanced parallel computing, digital image processing, and space technology. He has long been active in the applied imagery pattern recognition community, has been an IEEE Distinguished Visitor, and is a guest lecturer at several universities. His B.S. in physics was granted by Notre Dame University in 1962 and in 1966 he earned an M.S. in physics from the University of Maryland.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Hord describes the state of the art in parallel supercomputing as of the mid-1990s. After an introduction to the goals and scope of recent federal high performance computing initiatives, he surveys basic concepts of parallel architectures and programming used in subsequent chapters. There is a comprehensive discussion of commercial and research parallel machines, an overview of programming languages and tools, and a section on applications. The machine descriptions mainly review the strong points of each architecture, leaving it to the reader to understand limitations and to compare among the many parallel supercomputers covered. One intrinsic difficulty is that in comparing machines, many no longer exist, and thus performance data is limited to what was available when the machine was sold. There is also the problem of rapid obsolescence of technology, e.g., several of the supercomputer companies mentioned are no longer in business, such as Thinking Machines, Kendall Square, Cray Research, and Convex. Others are no longer sold by the vendor, such as the Intel Paragon. Overall, a good survey of an exciting and fast-moving field, with a historical perspective as well as the first level of detail on past and existing parallel supercomputers. Undergraduates through professionals. M. B. Gokhale; Sarnoff Corporation

Table of Contents

Parallel Supercomputing Concepts
Alternative Architectures
Distributed Heterogeneous Supercomputing
About the Author