It is thought that fast low cost computers can be built by employing large numbers of cheap microprocessors working together in a system. However increasing the number of microprocessors in a parallel computer system may not produce a linear increase in performance for general purpose programming. The problems seem to lie in the communication between processors and the method of exploiting parallelism. A multiprocessor system was constructed using six MC68000 microprocessors. The problems of communication and exploiting parallelism were tackled in the design of the multiprocessor system. The component processors in a multiprocessor system communicate with each other through a communication channel. It is essential that the communication hardware has a high bandwidth. A fast communication hardware was implemented based on a two port shared memory. One method of extracting parallelism in a computing problem is by using divide and conquer. A software system was developed that enables the multiprocessor to exploit parallelism derived by the divide and conquer method. A software kernel is employed to manage the scheduling of parallel tasks to processors and the communication between processors. The mode of computation is based on the demand driven model.
|Date of Award||1985|