Beowulf: A theorical approach

Greg Lindahl glindahl at
Fri Jun 23 08:54:02 PDT 2000

> Sure, and memory is indeed another way to do it.  Build a small
> communications computer that "fits" into a memory chip slot.

People have put CPUs on memory interfaces, and was discussed on this very
mailing list. That one was an ARM; it was done before on the Cray-[34]/SSS.

However, memory interface standards are advancing rapidly these days, so
that would be annoying. SDRAM, RDRAM, DDR SDRAM.

> I dunno, Greg, two beers into it I'm still tormented with the thought
> that $2 million might be a reasonable investment, especially if one is a
> company like Transmeta, with a significant investment in making tiny
> computers that could -- given the right harnesses -- be assembled into a
> beowulf.  But even for Intel it might make sense.

If you have the $2 million, send it to me. Intel doesn't care about high-end

> One can only hope, though, that Intel (or Compaq,
> or any of the main computer/CPU/motherboard folks) has a light bulb turn
> on and actually designs a motherboard/CPU connection a priori, outside
> of the existing bus specs, "just for communications".

They believe that Infiniband meets that need.

> It's hard (at least for a novice like me) to understand why modern
> computers require "a peripheral bus" with separate and distinct
> latencies and bandwidths anymore at all.

Because the CPU bus has to change faster than I/O busses are allowed to

-- greg

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