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Development and Application of a Low-Cost, High-Performance, Multiprocessor Machine

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Projects/Copyright, ECSC-EC-EAEC, Luxembourg 1999

Project Acronym : SUPERNODE

Title : Development and Application of a Low-Cost, High-Performance, Multiprocessor Machine

Objective : The objective of SUPERNODE was to develop a high-performance, multiprocessor, prototype computer with a flexible architecture, suitable for a wide range of scientific and engineering problems.

General Information : Results were as follows:
-Hardware
The basic component (the T800 version of the transputer with a floating-point multiplier facility) and the Supernode computer developed in the project are representative of the present state of the art. A 1000-transputer machine was implemented as an arr ay of supernodes. The machine architecture is expandable, and the interconnection of nodes is reconfigurable, as are the transputers at the node level. A high-speed input/output interface (100 Mbit/s) was developed for real-time vision applications. Further multi-node machines are currently under test prior to delivery.
-Base-level software
The basis for software development is OCCAM and the INMOS transputer development system. The software development host is either MSDOS or Unix using the Transputer Development System with extensions. The target code is downloaded to Supernode over a tran sputer communications connection.
-User software
Important applications in signal processing and logic simulation benefiting directly from the parallel processing environment have been successfully developed. Other studies have been made of the user software environments in the following areas: image p rocessing, scientific applications, CAD, ray tracing, CAM, and in the provision of a numerical algorithms library.
Exploitation
The T800 transputer is a significant industrial result from INMOS and is now manufactured for industrial use. Five hundred designs worldwide are based on the T800 and its spin-offs. Single and multiple node Supernode-based machines are being marketed.Among the applications and products that have resulted from the work packages of this project are the following: the LUCKY-LOG logic simulator in the CAD for VLSI area, now presented as an add-on card for PCs; several image-processing applications; digital signal processing applications; applications of image generation by the ray-tracing method; multi-transputer architecture studies in CAM; the provision of diagnostics and debuggers; and Occam and Fortran libraries.
The Supernode computer has been further developed to the product level by Telmat and Thorn-EMI. A new subsidiary of Thorn-EMI, PARSYS, has been set up to handle the product. Manufacturing of components is shared between the companies to encourage economies of scale.
The project has attracted wide interest in the architectures community, particularly through several international presentations.
The availability of parallel processing hardware, based around systems such as T800, has demonstrated the poor level of software to support such systems. Efforts are in progress to address the shortcomings in both skills and products.

Project Status : Completed

Start Date : 09-Dec-1985

End Date : 09-Dec-1988

Duration : 36 months

Programme Acronym : ESPRIT 1

Subprogramme Area : ADVANCED INFORMATION PROCESSING
Ultracomputer, multiprocessor machines

Programme Type : 1st FWP (First Framework Programme)

Prime Contractor
Organisation : Defence Research Agency (DRA)
Department : Electronics Division
Address : St Andrews Road
Postcode : WR14 3PS
City : Malvern
Region: WEST MIDLANDS
HEREFORD & WORCESTER, WARWICKSHIRE
Hereford and Worcester
Country : UNITED KINGDOM
Contact Person : Name: HARP, J.G.
Tel: +44-684-892733

Other Contractors
Organisation Name : University of Southampton
Contact Person : HEY, ANTHONY
Address : Highfield
City : Southampton
Region : SOUTH EAST (UK)
HAMPSHIRE, ISLE OF WIGHT
Hampshire
Org. Country : UNITED KINGDOM
Post Code : SO17 1BJ
Telephone : +44-703-592069
Fax : +44-703-593045
E-mail : EuroKom: TONY HEY SOTON
Organisation Name : Central Research Laboratories plc
Organisation Type : Research
Industry
Contact Person : WATSON, DAVID
Address : Dawley Road
City : Hayes
Region : EAST ANGLIA
Suffolk
Org. Country : UNITED KINGDOM
Post Code : UB3 1HH
Telephone : +44-1-579-8683
Fax : +44-1-579-8365
Organisation Name : Inmos Ltd
Contact Person : SHEPHERD, DAVID
Department : Microcomputer Division
Address : 1,000 Aztec West
City : Almondsbury
Region : SOUTH WEST (UK)
AVON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, WILTSHIRE
Avon
Org. Country : UNITED KINGDOM
Post Code : BS12 4SQ
Telephone : +44-454-616616
Fax : +44-454-617910
Organisation Name : Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble
Department : Laboratoire de Génie Informatique
IMAG
Address : BP 68
City : Saint-Martin-d'Hères
Region : CENTRE-EST
RHÔNE-ALPES
Isère
Org. Country : FRANCE
Post Code : 38402
Organisation Name : APSIS
Contact Person : DULAC, GERARD
Department : Departement de Recherches, Zirst
Address : 61 chemin du Vieux Chêne
BP 177
City : Meylan
Region : CENTRE-EST
RHÔNE-ALPES
Isère
Org. Country : FRANCE
Post Code : 38244
Telephone : +33-16-76902003
Fax : +33-16-76900922
Organisation Name : Telmat Informatique SA
Organisation Type : Industry
Contact Person : FEST, JEAN-MARIE
Address : 6 rue de l'Industrie
Zone Industrielle
BP 12
City : Soultz
Org. Country : FRANCE
Post Code : 68360
Telephone : +33-50-692058
Fax : +33-50-692065
E-mail : EuroKom: JEAN-MARIE FEST TELMAT



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