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Parallel Computing on the Berkeley NOW

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Executive Summary

The UC Berkeley Network Of Workstations (NOW) project demonstrates a new approach to large-scale system design enabled by technology advances that provide inexpensive, low latency, high bandwidth, scalable interconnection networks. This paper provides an overview of the hardware and software architecture of NOW and reports on the performance obtained at each layer of the system: Active Messages, MPI message passing, and benchmark parallel applications. In the early 1990's it was often said that the "Killer Micro" had attacked the supercomputer market, much as it had the minicomputer and mainframe markets earlier.

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