Computers: Parallel Turn

Parallel Turn

When Danny Hillis built his parallel computer six years ago, the industry largely dismissed the machine as too radical. While it was able to run rings around the most powerful supercomputers by processing thousands of instructions simultaneously rather than one at a time, Hillis' machine required customized software. But with conventional supercomputers aging and unable to meet future demands, mainstream computer makers are starting to warm up to parallel computing. In perhaps the biggest endorsement yet, IBM last week formed a joint venture with Hillis' company, Thinking Machines, to incorporate parallel technology into Big Blue's line of large computers. The deal...

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