SUPERNODE II aimed to provide the software infrastructure necessary to exploit the general class of Distributed Memory Parallel Computer (DMPC) machines. This software was to be initially targeted at the transputer-based Supernode machine (ie the major output from project 1085). An overriding design aim was to provide software portable to other DMPC platforms.
Parallel computers are already used to solve many science and engineering problems. A good example is the Supernode computer developed under ESPRIT project 1085 and now marketed by PARSYS (United Kingdom) and TELMAT (France). A price/performance ratio some 10 times better than sequential computers give them the potential to be used in many more market sectors. To realise these benefits in larger markets a more extensive software infrastructure is needed to ease the development or porting of applications on these machines. SUPERNODE II is building the principal parts of this infrastructure.
The project aims to design and develop appropriate operating systems and environments for general purpose parallel, computers for a range of tasks, including run time support, program development, multiuser support, and real time applications.
An operating system kernel (PAROS) that is resident on each processing element in the system has been produced. Various high level servers are in development, such as an X Windows/Motif and various file servers. Performance monitoring tools are being provided as well as full networking facilities.
A number of user interfaces and environments are being constructed on top of PAROS, including an X/Open compatible system and the portable common tool environment (PCTE). 2 integrated project support environments (the PACT toolset and Eclipse) are being ported to the PCTE running on the parallel machine and are all being fully parallelized. Software tools are being developed that make use of the facilities offered by PAROS and will readily interface to the parallel PCTE. 4 large applications (image synthesis, simulation of heterogeneous systems, computer aided design (CAD) for very large scale integration (VLSI) and oil reservoir simulation) have been implemented and have provided a test bed for the major software components developed in the rest of the project, particularly the numerical libraries, the compilers and PAROS.
Software components were to be thoroughly integrated through clearly defined interfaces using existing standards (eg X/Open, PCTE) where appropriate. Specific tools, languages and libraries required for the effective usage of parallel architectures were to be designed and implemented. A small work package was included to upgrade the original Supernode to use the Inmos T9000 transputer.
Funding Schemeundefined - undefined
RG9 1EN Henley-on-thames
WR14 3PS Malvern
SK11 6JD Macclesfield
OX2 7DE Oxford
W1P 6BQ London
RG4 7DH Reading
L69 3BX Liverpool