Multi-processor developments in the United States for future high energy physics experiments and accelerators Page: 2 of 10
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Multi-Processor Developments in the United States for Future
High Energy Physics Experiments and Accelerators *
For the Advanced Computer Program
H. Areti, R. Atac, J. Biel, A. Cook, J. Deppe, M. Edel, M. Fischler,
R. Hance, D. Husby, T. Nash, T. Pham, and T. Zmuda
Advanced Computer Program
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory+
Batavia, Illinois 60510 USA
The use of multi-processors for analysis and high-level triggering in High
Energy Physics experiments, pioneered by the early emulator systems, has
reached maturity, in particular with the multiple microprocessor systems
in use at Fermilab. It is widely acknowledged that such systems will fulfill
the major portion of the computing needs of future large experiments.
Recent developments at Fermilab's Advanced Computer Program will
make such systems even more powerful, cost-effective, and easier to use than
they are at present. The next generation of microprocessors, already
available, will provide CPU power of about one VAX 780 equivalent/$300,
while supporting most VMS FORTRAN extensions and large (>8MB) amounts of
memory. Low cost high density mass storage devices (based on video tape
cartridge technology) will allow parallel I/O to remove potential I/O
bottlenecks in systems of over 1000 VAX equivalent processors. New
interconnection schemes and system software will allow more flexible
topologies and extremely high data bandwidth, especially for on-line
systems. This talk will summarize the work at the Advanced Computer
Program and the rest of the U.S. in this field.
High-Energy physicists have always wanted more computer power than they could
afford to buy in the commercial marketplace. However, the natural parallelism inherent in
the HEP computing problem (running the identical program on many millions of different
events) suggests a simple parallel processing solution. The pioneering emulator work by Kunz
et al. at SLAC demonstrated the feasibility of using multiprocessor systems to provide cost-
effective computing. Indeed, one of the earliest nine processor 168E systems is still doing work
today running Monte Carlo programs for the LASS detector, almost a decade after it was first
More recently, the advent of powerful 32-bit microprocessors has allowed the
development of even more convenient and cost-effective parallel processing systems. Such
systems are now an acknowledged important component of computing in high-energy physics.
*Talk given by Irwin Gaines at the Adriatico Conference on the "Impact of Digital Microelectronics and
Microprocessors on Particle Physics," International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy,
March 28-30, 1988.
+Fermilab is operated by. Universities Research Association, Inc., under contract with the U.S.
Department of Energy.
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Gaines, I. Multi-processor developments in the United States for future high energy physics experiments and accelerators, article, March 1, 1988; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1204307/m1/2/: accessed January 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.