Chapter 1. Introduction to Parallel Computing

The past decade has seen tremendous advances in microprocessor technology. Clock rates of processors have increased from about 40 MHz (e.g., a MIPS R3000, circa 1988) to over 2.0 GHz (e.g., a Pentium 4, circa 2002). At the same time, processors are now capable of executing multiple instructions in the same cycle. The average number of cycles per instruction (CPI) of high end processors has improved by roughly an order of magnitude over the past 10 years. All this translates to an increase in the peak floating point operation execution rate (floating point operations per second, or FLOPS) of several orders of magnitude. A variety of other issues have also become important over the same period. Perhaps ...

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