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Archive for Wednesday, December 26, 2012

25 years ago: Computer industry now supports ‘controversial’ parallel processing technology

December 26, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 26, 1987:

A "radical new computer design that only a few years ago was routinely dismissed as unworkable" was getting another look after IBM had stunned the industry with an about-face in its support. The technology, known as parallel processing, was described as "a controversial method of dramatically increasing the speed of computers by attacking problems with scores and sometimes thousands of separate processors running simultaneously.... a sharp departure from the single-processor architecture that computer makers have used since the late 1940s." Until recently, IBM had not supported the commercial possibilities of the technique, saying it was too expensive and too risky. This week, however, the corporation had announced that it was allying with one of the world's leading supercomputer designers, Steve S. Chen, and hoped to market a 64-processor machine in the early 1990s.

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