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Parallel Computing

Typical engineering design offices are equipped with several PC computers with different processor power, memory available and disc capacity. The computers are usually connected with fast Ethernet. The computing performance is relatively high with respect to the demands of design process, involving CAD, structural analysis etc. This makes the offices well equipped for high performance computing provided relevant parallel software is available. Parallel computing is nowadays considered a very efficient tool to overcome bottlenecks of traditional serial computing. These bottlenecks relate to both lack of resources (memory, disk space, etc.) and long computational times. Typical parallel application decreases the demands on memory and other resources by spreading the task over several mutually interconnected computers and speeds up the response of the application by distribution of the computation to individual processors. Note however that parallel computing is worth also for applications that require almost no resources but consume an excessive amount of time and for applications that cannot be performed on a single (even well equipped) computer regardless of the computational time. It is important to realize that from engineering point of view the scalability of the algorithm is not the only criterion to judge efficiency of parallel application. In many cases, the ability to analyze extremely large problems not solvable on individual machine is of primary interest.

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Next: Parallel Computers Up: Top Previous: Material Modeling

Daniel Rypl
2005-12-03