Cores, Cells, Death Knells, and Acquisitions

Published on Wednesday, 15 February 2006 14:00
Written by Jeff Layton and Douglas Eadline
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Cluster Notes - 2/16/2006

Select news stories of the week. We look at Orion Multisystems, quad-core madness, and IBM cell news. Read on for what you really need to know.

Well folks, it's a sad day. It looks like Orion Multisystems is gone. They were definitely a pioneer in the cluster field. They had some very good ideas of what a personal cluster should be (except for maybe the appeal of the Transmeta processor).

IBM has launched the first commercial product based on the Cell Processor. The same family of processors to be used in the Sony PS3. For those that believe, the Cell is just a game chip, you may have to explain why IBM has come out with a Cell based server blade. We are waiting for the PS3 at ClusterMonkey. There is nothing like a dual use cluster node.

Not to be out done, ever, both AMD and Intel have been talking up their quad-core systems. First, Intel announced quad-cores in 2007 (and some think late 2006) while AMD keeps pushing on as well. My only question is, how is everyone (outside of HPC) going to program these babies. I'm still looking of the "-O7" option that parallelizes my code for both mulit-core and clusters.

It's acquisition time!!! (using my best "Thing" voice from th Fantastic Four - OK, Jessica Alba was the best, but I digress). One of the leader in commercial CFD codes, Fluent was just acquired by Ansys. Fluent is probably the most wide-spread CFD code in use in the world today and their code runs very, very well on clusters.

On a more cluster note, Qlogic is aquiring Pathscale. Should make Qlogic very interesting.