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CNET News.com: [Compaq] Making supercomputers out of cheap parts

Jul 15, 1999, 19:39 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Shankland)

"Compaq Computer has passed a milestone in a government-sponsored project to create a fast but cheap supercomputer out of relatively ordinary parts. ...has demonstrated such a computer in its PathForward project, based at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The computer ties together 128 servers through a high-speed switch."

"...PathForward... produced some blazingly fast computations but still wasn't fast enough to join the top tier of supercomputers. The PathForward system hit a benchmark speed of 154 billion calculations per second, well short of the ASCI program's goals of 30 trillion calculations per second by 2001 and 100 triillion by 2004."

"PathForward is based on 128 DS20 servers, each of which contains two Alpha 21264 chips. These processors, originally made by Digital Equipment, are lauded within the industry as being the fastest number-crunching commercial chips. The computer also uses Compaq's Tru64 Unix operating system."

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