<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
This is an introduction to the book High Performance Computing.

Why worry about performance?

Over the last decade, the definition of what is called high performance computing has changed dramatically. In 1988, an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal titled “Attack of the Killer Micros” that described how computing systems made up of many small inexpensive processors would soon make large supercomputers obsolete. At that time, a “personal computer” costing $3000 could perform 0.25 million floating-point operations per second, a “workstation” costing $20,000 could perform 3 million floating-point operations, and a supercomputer costing $3 million could perform 100 million floating-point operations per second. Therefore, why couldn’t we simply connect 400 personal computers together to achieve the same performance of a supercomputer for $1.2 million?

This vision has come true in some ways, but not in the way the original proponents of the “killer micro” theory envisioned. Instead, the microprocessor performance has relentlessly gained on the supercomputer performance. This has occurred for two reasons. First, there was much more technology “headroom” for improving performance in the personal computer area, whereas the supercomputers of the late 1980s were pushing the performance envelope. Also, once the supercomputer companies broke through some technical barrier, the microprocessor companies could quickly adopt the successful elements of the supercomputer designs a few short years later. The second and perhaps more important factor was the emergence of a thriving personal and business computer market with ever-increasing performance demands. Computer usage such as 3D graphics, graphical user interfaces, multimedia, and games were the driving factors in this market. With such a large market, available research dollars poured into developing inexpensive high performance processors for the home market. The result of this trend toward faster smaller computers is directly evident as former supercomputer manufacturers are being purchased by workstation companies (Silicon Graphics purchased Cray, and Hewlett-Packard purchased Convex in 1996).

As a result nearly every person with computer access has some “high performance” processing. As the peak speeds of these new personal computers increase, these computers encounter all the performance challenges typically found on supercomputers.

While not all users of personal workstations need to know the intimate details of high performance computing, those who program these systems for maximum performance will benefit from an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these newest high performance systems.

Scope of high performance computing

High performance computing runs a broad range of systems, from our desktop computers through large parallel processing systems. Because most high performance systems are based on reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processors, many techniques learned on one type of system transfer to the other systems.

Questions & Answers

can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
kkk nice
Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
is it 3×y ?
Joan Reply
J, combine like terms 7x-4y
Bridget Reply
im not good at math so would this help me
Rachael Reply
I'm not good at math so would you help me
what is the problem that i will help you to self with?
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, High performance computing. OpenStax CNX. Aug 25, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11136/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'High performance computing' conversation and receive update notifications?