HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Massively parallel computer. A Connection Machine CM-5, a massively parallel computer (MPC) made by the Thinking Machines Corporation. MPCs use many individual 'nodes' networked together, allowing simultanoeus processing of large volumes of data. In the CM-5, up to 1024 nodes are used. Each node consists of a SPARC chip, four 'vector processors' for high-speed computations and a memory of 32Mb (megabytes). When all of these nodes are networked together in the CM-5, the computer has a theoretical speed eight times faster than the most powerful conventional computers. MPCs are ideally suited to mathematical models of large natural systems, such as climate models.
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