Cydrome Inc of Milpitas, California is set to launch its Cydra 5 minisupercomputer in January 1988, according to vice-president of marketing, Robert Hesser. Cydrome was set up in May 1984 with venture capital funds that included enough for a 10% stake from Prime Computer Inc, and the Cydra 5, previewed at the Supercomputer Conference last May, is its first product. The Cydra 5 has a directed dataflow architecture and uses fine-grained parallelism to achieve high performance over a wide range of programming tasks, says Heller. Using both hardware and software to direct the parallelism in standard programs means that not all the effort is placed on the compiler. After compilation, the hardware optimises constructs that can only be spotted while the program is running, such as scheduling and Boolean functions. Programmers see standard Unix, and do not have to know about the machine’s parallelism, claims Cydrome, whilst admitting that those requiring the last drop of performance would still be likely to hand-optimise their code. The Cydra 5 will be marketed in Europe through Prime, but in the US different market sectors will be divided between Prime and Cydrome – Prime’s version is likely to include different peripheral equipment. Cydrome, which now employs 170 people at its Milpitas, California headquarters, says it has already shipped systems, but will not discuss pricing details until the launch. Convex Computer, Alliant and Multiflow are cited as its closest competitors.
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