Computer hardware and operating systems

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The essential goal of developing new computer architectures and efficient use of existing modern systems is to run larger and more complicated applications faster over time. Parallelism is an intuitive and appealing concept, in practice however it carries high price tag (Pancake, 1996), resulting in general from lack of user experience in parallel programming and still early stage of parallel computer systems development.


Traditional sequential computers are based on the model introduced by John von Neumann. Sequence of instructions operates on a sequence of data. There are at least two limiting factors influencing performance of the sequential computer: CPU execution rate of instructions and read/write access to the system memory.
IBM Roadrunner is a hybrid design with 12,960IBMPowerXCell8i CPUs and 6,480AMDOpterondual-core processors (Barker et al, 2008). Roadrunner is different from many contemporary supercomputers in that it is a hybrid system which uses two different processor architectures whereas the usual supercomputers use only one as using one processor architecture is generally easier to design and implement. As a supercomputer, the Roadrunner is considered an Opteron cluster with Cell accelerators, as each node consists of a Cell attached to an Opteron core and the Opterons to each other.
Due to the recent advances in search technologies coupled with internet searches, computing has risen to higher levels of scales involving huge data sets. Organizations like Google and other competitors have developed a new concept of supercomputing called Data Intensive Super Computer (DISC) systems. ...
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