Parsytec GC

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The GC (for Giga Cube or Grand Challenge ) is a parallel computer from the German company Parsytec and was manufactured in the early 1990s.

Transputer T-805 (30 MHz) from Inmos were used as the processor . The computing power of a processor was 4.4 megaflops . Each processor had 1 megabyte of local main memory available. A version of the GC with Inmos-T-9000 transputers announced by the manufacturer could never be realized because the processor was not published.

The network structure was a two-dimensional grid. The communication speed was 20 Mbit / s.

The modular concept of the GC was unusual for the time. One module contained four clusters with 16 transputers each and its own power supply, I / O and communication connections. By combining modules, up to 16,384 processors could theoretically be interconnected to form a very powerful system.

The designation GC-x indicates the size of the system. A GC-1 has 64 processors, a GC-2 256, a GC-3 1024, a GC-4 4096 and a GC-5 16,384 processors. While the smaller versions were air-cooled up to the GC-3, water cooling should be used for the larger ones.

PARIX was used as the operating system .

The power consumption of a system with 1024 processors was approx. 27 kW , the weight was almost a ton. The purchase price in 1992 was around 1.5 million DM.

The two largest installations of the GC had 1024 processors (16 modules with 64 transputers each) and were operated at data centers at the Universities of Cologne and Paderborn . The Paderborn copy of the GC has been on view in the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum since October 2004 (no longer operational).

In 1992, the GC with 1024 processors was placed in the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputer installations. It was ranked 22nd among the fastest computers in Germany.