Parallel Architectures

Authored by: Michael J. Flynn , Kevin W. Rudd

Computing Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439898529
eBook ISBN: 9781439898536
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b16812-27

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Abstract

Much of the computing done today is performed using parallel computers—searching for information (such as used by Google across its applications), analyzing data (such as enabled by the Apache Hadoop map–reduce system for scalable distributed computing), and simulating complex systems (such as done for weather prediction by NOAA). Even the computer present in cell phones is often a parallel processor (handling the user interface, applications, and radio)! In many cases, the exact nature of the parallel computer is hidden from the user—the hardware details are abstracted away from both the user and the programmer. However, understanding the basics of how parallel architectures work will help both users and programmers appreciate, optimize, and improve their ability to use these systems.

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