Top 500 trends

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Wed Nov 27 12:05:45 PST 2002

On 27 Nov 2002, Dean Johnson wrote:

> In some respects, clusters without supercomputers (and now vice versa)
> would sorta be like one hand clapping. On the supercomputer side,
> clusters push hard on the performance front. On the cluster side,
> supercomputers give it something to compete against and give proponents
> the ability to say "I can build you a $20 million YMP equivalent for
> only $8.95". 

On still other sides, "supercomputers are clusters".

We should probably differentiate between vector supercomputers (Greg's
point, which is well taken) and e.g. SP supercomputers, which are
basically clusters.  Really expensive clusters, but clusters.

My observation about elephants, oxen vs chickens was more towards the
supercomputers that are just very expensive clusters, not the
vector/linear algebra engines.

Although the metaphor is obviously now strained well past the breaking


> 	-Dean
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Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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