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Designing SOCs with Configured Cores by Steve Leibson

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15.6. Cluster Computing and NoCs

Inexpensive PCs with Ethernet ports have made it possible to build relatively inexpensive cluster computers. A roomful of PCs networked together using the common TCP/IP LAN protocol can form a very powerful, massively parallel computing system. Such clusters of hundreds or thousands of PCs often appear in listings of the fastest computers in the world. The first Google server was just such a PC cluster, built from a collection of bare PC motherboards literally piled one atop the other and jammed into one 19-inch, rack-mount cabinet.

SOCs can also implement computing clusters. However, the relatively microcosmic nature of on-chip computing clusters allows for simpler, lighter networking protocols than TCP/IP. Many ...

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