The next generation of desktop computers just may be arriving soon. That is because developers at the University of Maryland engineering department have created a prototype for a supercomputer that is the size of an average desktop machine.
Supercomputers that have speeds that are 100 times faster than standard desktop computers have been used for years for large applications on a massive scale. But, they take up equally large physical space. This is done by a technology known as parallel processing.
Until now, it has been impossible to bring that power down to the desktop level because of programing complexities.
But now, Uzi Vishkin and his colleagues believe they have the solution.
The team was able to create their computer using that parallel processing on a single chip. This is a breakthrough. Their process uses a circuit board that is about the size of a license plate. On it, they have mounted 64 parallel processors. Their genius comes in with the organization. Their method allows those 64 processors to work together in such a way that makes programming both practical and simple for software developers. The group is predicting that in the future, they may be able to connect as many as 1,000 processors the same way, all on a chip that is the size of a fingernail.
In honor of the breakthrough, and to raise awareness of it, Vishkin is holding a contest for the public. In order to win the contest, you must submit the winning name for the new technology, something that reflects both the features and the aspirations of the new computer, taking into account the parallel processing capability. A $500 cash prize and credit for naming will be yours if you win. The contest ends on September 15, 2007.
To enter the contest, click here.
Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Frugal Living Blog here at Families.com, where she shares money saving tips for today’s families.