The current approach to handling very large compute-intensive and data-intensive applications is to deploy the cumulative effect of a large number of processors in parallel, either via a networked cluster of computers or via a more tightly coupled massively parallel system. As simulation models evolve in complexity together with the accelerated proliferation of modeling and imaging data, this approach to computing quickly becomes limited by issues of power consumption, cooling, and physical size, not to mention cost and performance. The challenge is to construct a dense air-cooled machine with high performance and low cost.

One resolution is to adopt the...

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