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November 30, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Thinking Machines Corp has now formally unveiled the software on which it is pinning its hopes for future prosperity, calling it GlobalWorks. GlobalWorks Software is described as providing the industry’s most advanced set of tools for developing parallel applications, using Fibre Channel or Asynchronous Transfer Mode networking protocols for processor interconnect, and supporting the major relational databases. The GlobalWorks Software, out next quarter, is that cluster of Sun Micrososystems Inc Ultra 1 systems the company discussed earlier this month (CI No 2,791). The GlobalWorks Server supports both serial and parallel computing, and scales from four to 64 processing nodes; it will be marketed by Thinking Machines, with support from Sun, at prices from $200,000. The software can be used either to harness processors to tackle multiple serial jobs, maximising throughput of the entire system, or to bring together processing nodes to act as a single virtual parallel computer. The software comes from the Connection Machines that Thinking, now in Bedford, Massachusetts, no longer builds. A future version will enable multiple processors in many computers across entire distributed networks to work co-operatively as one virtual machine. The software includes serial and parallel compilers, notably a new High Performance Fortran language; optimised versions of the Message-Passing Interface and Parallel Virtual Machine libraries of message- passing functions; the PrismT program development environment and support for parallel input-output and parallel file systems.

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