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Technology and Health News > Thursday, February-28-2008

Janus double programmability supercomputer

Presented today, the Italo-Spanish computer Janus, has a high level of parallelism, in which the architecture of physical connections is established when you run the program!

He was baptized Janus, as the Roman god Janus Bifronte, dual supercomputer programmability, where the programmer decides not only what instructions to follow but also, with the same lines of code, which is the exact structure of links physical on which the program should be run.

The supercomputer which was presented today in Trento at the headquarters of the European Centre for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas ()-2005 , the departments of physics University of Ferrara in "Sapienza" of Rome, the Institute of Physics Biocomputation y Sistemas de Complejos (Bifi), the University of Zaragoza, the Institute de Investigacion en Ingenieria of Argon, Universidad Complutense Madrid and the University of Extremadura, and was carried out by Italian industrial group Eurotech.

This is a "high level of parallelism" (parallel systems are those in which case an simultaneous code, differentiated and shared across multiple microprocessors in order to increase performance of the machine), whose architecture is based FPGA on (Field Programmable Gate Array), a chip in which connections hardware can be programmed at the same time implementing the code. The computer, in other words, is able to carry out a number of operations simultaneously and to determine the optimal path for holding as efficiently and quickly. When a chip is physically built, in fact, "hardwarista" establishes that the architecture should have (for example the position of logic gates) so smoothly a particular task, which can be a series of algebraic operations. The chip will be able to perform other tasks (such as preparing a chart), but less efficiently compared to the work for which it was designed. Once the chip is built, you can not change the architecture. In this case, however, the best plan for the task to be performed is established when you enter instructions, when, that is, you run the program.

The new supercomputer is designed to accelerate studies in the field of nanotechnology simulation. The first complete system will be installed at the Department of Bifi (Spain), and another Janus will be used for research by Giorgio Parisi of the National Institute for Physics of matter (Infm-Cnr), thanks to funding from the Microsoft Award Science 2007 in Europe and the recognition of the physical was awarded last October.

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