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This module serves as the introductory module for the Open Education Cup contest (http://OpenEducationCup.org) collaborative book. This introduction outlines the primary focus of the contest and provides examples to help authors get started with their contest entries.

What is parallel computing, and why should i care?

Parallel computing simply means using more than one computer processor to solve a problem. Classically, computers have been presented to newcomers as “sequential” systems, where the processor does one step at a time. There are still machines and applications where this is true, but today most systems have parallel features. Some examples are shown below.
We hasten to point out that, although we use certain commercial systems and chips as examples, they are by no means the only ones. Additional examples in all categories are available from other companies. The Open Education Cup would welcome modules on any type of parallel system.

Supercomputers achieve astounding speed on scientific computations by using amazing numbers of processors. The Roadrunner system at Los Alamos National Laboratory ( ) is currently the world’s fastest computer, with over 100,000 processor cores combining to reach 1 PetaFLOPS ( 10 15 floating point operations per second).

Servers use multiple processors to handle many simultaneous requests in a timely manner. For example, a web server might use dozens of processors to supply hundreds of pages per second. A 64-processor server ( ) could supply an average university department’s need for computation, file systems, and other support.

Grid computing combines distributed computers (often from different organizations) into one unified system. One vision ( ) is that a scientist working at her desk in Houston can send a problem to be solved by supercomputers in Illinois and California, accessing data in other locations. Other grid computing projects, such as the World Community Grid, seek to use millions of idle PCs to solve important problems, such as searching for candidate drug designs.

Multicore chips include several processor cores on a single computer chip. Even a laptop (or other small system) that uses a multicore chip is a parallel computer. For example, the Quad-core AMD Opteron processor ( ) is one of a family of chips with 4 cores. As another example, the IBM Cell processor chips used in the Roadrunner supercomputer have 8 “Synergistic Processing Elements” (i.e. fast cores) each, plus 1 Power Processing Element (which controls the others).

Graphics processors (often called GPUs) are a special type of chip originally designed for image processing. They feature massive numbers of scalar processors to allow rendering many pixels in parallel. For example, The NVIDIA Tesla series ( ) boasts 240 processors. Such special-purpose parallel chips are the basis for accelerated computing.

In effect, all modern computing is parallel computing.

Getting the most out of a parallel computer requires finding and exploiting opportunities to do several things at once. Some examples of such opportunities in realistic computer applications might include:

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 2008-'09 open education cup: high performance computing. OpenStax CNX. Oct 28, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10594/1.3
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