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The news in this category has been selected by us because we thought it would be interestingto hard core cluster geeks. Of course, you don't have to be a cluster geek to read the news stories.

From the Ethernet rules the day, department

We are pleased to announce the new software package developed by a team of Cluster Monkey researchers including Robert Brown, Jeff Layton, and Douglas Eadine. The project was sponsored by the Beowulf Legacy Enhanced Ethernet Project (BLEEP). The results of the these efforts is a new software package called Geyser™ that will be available for Linux later this month. By substituting the Geyser™ drivers in the Linux Kernel, a standard Ethernet card can transmit at more than double the standard Gigabit Ethernet rate. Moreover the single bit latencies are less then one microsecond. Please read the theoretical background to fully understand this report.

Image How Low can you go?

Mellanox has just announced their new ConnectX HCA's that provide 1.2 μsecond MPI ping latency. Other features include, 10 or 20Gb/s InfiniBand ports CPU offload of transport operations, End-to-end QoS and congestion control, Hardware-based I/O virtualization, and TCP/UDP/IP stateless offload. The press release follows.

New Workstation from Appro Packs in the Cores.

Appro International has just announced the XtremeWorkstation. -- a deskside workstation that can hold up to four (4) AMD Opteron Processors. So let's do some math. With four sockets, that is eight cores in one box, and when the Barcelona quad-core comes out, that is 16 cores in one box. Remember your first 16 node cluster? Now you can get 16 cores in a single desk side SMP system (Symmetric Multi-Processing).

Appro XtremeWorkstation
Appro XtremeWorkstation

Here are some details, the XtremeWorkstation offers a maximum of 128GB of memory, up to 4 TB of SATA disk space, dual GigE, up to two PCI-Express x16 slots for high-end graphics cards such as the nVidia Quadro FX4500 X2 or the nVidia Quadro FX5500 and plenty more (pdf data sheet). Supports Linux and Windows.

There are no interconnects other than HyperTransport. The good news is you can run all your existing MPI codes so there is no need to pull out messages and add threads to your application (unless you want to of course).

The Advanced Research Computing (ARC) team at Georgetown University is running another of their successful Introduction to Beowulf Design, Planning, Building and Administering trainings on January 23-26th (next week!). The previous sessions were a success and we can look forward to other trainings as well.

Sun has released (BSD License) a reference implementation of the Fortress programming language. Fortress is a parallel programming language developed under the DARPA HPCS Program. Fortress is designed (like Fortran was) to work with mathematical functions (almost like you would write them on paper). They have amazing example of the NAS CG benchmark (originally written in Fortran) rewritten in Fortress (pdf). One should note, the code is a command line interpreter. It is intended as a research tool, so don't throw out your Fortran compiler yet. And, no it is not Java. There is an article with more information at c|net news.

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