Synopses & Reviews
Past, Present, Parallel is a survey of the current state of the parallel processing industry. In the early 1980s, parallel computers were generally regarded as academic curiosities whose natural environment was the research laboratory. Today, parallelism is being used by every major computer manufacturer, although in very different ways, to produce increasingly powerful and cost-effec- tive machines. The first chapter introduces the basic concepts of parallel computing; the subsequent chapters cover different forms of parallelism, including descriptions of vector supercomputers, SIMD computers, shared memory multiprocessors, hypercubes, and transputer-based machines. Each section concentrates on a different manufacturer, detailing its history and company profile, the machines it currently produces, the software environments it supports, the market segment it is targetting, and its future plans. Supplementary chapters describe some of the companies which have been unsuccessful, and discuss a number of the common software systems which have been developed to make parallel computers more usable. The appendices describe the technologies which underpin parallelism. Past, Present, Parallel is an invaluable reference work, providing up-to-date material for commercial computer users and manufacturers, and for researchers and postgraduate students with an interest in parallel computing.