The Intel iPSC/2
is a parallel processor computer produced in 1987. It was the successor of the Intel iPSC
The Intel iPSC is a parallel computer. It was superseded by the Intel iPSC/2. iPSC also more generally refers to the particular line of Intel parallel computers, which includes the iPSC/2 and the iPSC/860. Acronym "iPSC" means "Intel Personal SuperComputer"....
and was superseded by the Intel iPSC/860
The Intel iPSC/860 was a massively parallel supercomputer launched by Intel in 1990. It followed the Intel iPSC/2 and was superseded by the Intel Paragon. The iPSC/860 consisted of up to 128 processing elements connected in a hypercube topology, each element consisting of an Intel i860 or Intel 386...
It was available in several configurations, the base setup being one cabinet with 16 Intel 80386
The Intel 80386, also known as the i386, or just 386, was a 32-bit microprocessor introduced by Intel in 1985. The first versions had 275,000 transistors and were used as the central processing unit of many workstations and high-end personal computers of the time...
processors, each with a 80387 coprocessor on the same module. This configuration has no onboard storage, and the operating system and user programs were loaded from a frontend PC. This PC was typically an Intel 301 with a special interface card. The system allows for expansion up to 128 nodes, each with processor and coprocessor.
Also, the base modules could be upgraded to the SX (Scalar eXtension) version by adding another chip.
Another configuration allowed for each processor module to be paired with a VX (Vector eXtension) module. This has the downside that the number of available interface card slots is halved. Having multiple cabinets as part of the same iPSC/2 system is necessary to run the maximum number of nodes and allow them to connect to VX modules.
The iPSC/2 is a member of the hypercube
In geometry, a hypercube is an n-dimensional analogue of a square and a cube . It is a closed, compact, convex figure whose 1-skeleton consists of groups of opposite parallel line segments aligned in each of the space's dimensions, perpendicular to each other and of the same length.An...
class of parallel computers, which references the logical connection between the processors internally. For that reason, it can only be configured with 8, 16, 32, 64, or 128 nodes. These correspond to the corners of hypercubes of increasing dimension.
The nodes of iPSC/2 run the proprietary NX/2 operating system, while the host machine ran System V or Xenix
Xenix is a version of the Unix operating system, licensed to Microsoft from AT&T in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually superseded it with SCO UNIX ....