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March 1, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Thinking Machines Corp has switched to a 40MHz SuperSparc chip to create the fifth generation of its Connection Machine parallel processing system, the CM-5E. It claims that the CM-5E has outperformed comparable computer configurations – 32 node, 64-node and 128-node configurations – running the NAS parallel benchmarks developed for highly parallel computing systems at the National Aeronautics & Space Administration Ames Research Center. Other participants in the benchmarks were IBM Corp’s SP1 system, the Cray Research Inc T3D, Kendall Square Research Inc’s KSR1, and Intel Corp’s Paragon. The CM-5E is an enhanced implementation of the company’s existing CM-5, and adds faster vector units and improved network interface. Existing customers can add CM-5E nodes to their current systems. The machines feature the capability to handle parallel input-output as well as parallel time-sharing, which the company claims is unique. The performance is claimed to be enhanced 25% to 100% by virtue of the faster Sparc and an increase in peak performance of the vector processor to 160 MFLOPS, from 128 MFLOPS.

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