Supercomputers drive high-performance embedded multiprocessing

Military Embedded Systems - July/August 2011
Field Intelligence Column

Open standards/off-the-shelf drivers and middleware expand multicomputing architectural capability in HPCs.

Many of today’s supercomputers or High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems are based on vast clusters and arrays of the twin industry standards of Intel’s multicore processors and NVIDIA’s General Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs). Processors and GPGPUs are scaled to many thousands of compute nodes over InfiniBand with additional connectivity via 10 and 40 GbE, providing low latency and high data throughput to support applications from scientific research, engineering, and meteorological forecasting to financial trading floors and government information processing. These systems share key architectural concepts that are supported by mainstream operating systems such as Windows and Linux plus a wealth of off-the-shelf middleware, drivers, and libraries.