New Super Computer Could Link Diverse Systems Through The Internet

November 11, 1996

(Blacksburg, Va.) -- Peter Athanas and Ray Bittner of Virginia Tech's Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering have developed a "super computer" capable of processing complex data in real time (as it is being received). The prototype computer is faster and less expensive than today's super computers.

High performance computers are used to process huge quantities of complex data, such as radar and medical images; however, high-end computers must call upon a variety of expensive custom signal processing chips that are tailored for each different type of data source. Athanas and Bittner have developed a computer platform that uses Wormhole Run-time Reconfiguration (RTR) to process this data. As the data enters the computer, the needed resources and pathways are allocated to accommodate each processing situation.

Programming information "packets" are ordered and placed at the front of each "stream" of data to be processed. The programming information allows the stream to steer itself through the system and interact with other data streams to perform computational functions.

"Because each stream contains its own routing information, streams can simultaneously wind their way through the system in a truly distributed fashion," says Bittner. "In contrast to present systems, the streams in a Wormhole RTR system navigate themselves with no need for centralized control intervention."

The first task for the new super computer will be to receive and process data transmitted by cellular telephones. "It provides high-computational density with low power, which is good for wireless applications," Athanas explains.

"The really spectacular uses of Wormhole RTR are it's applications to the near future when it can be used to create huge computational engines through the Internet; harnessing and linking the power of distant and diverse computing systems to solve large problems," Bittner concludes.

A patent is pending on the new computer.

## 96354## Technical Project Synopsis attached (2 pages).

For more information:

Peter Athanas (http://www.ee.vt.edu/ee/faculty/athanas.html) at 540/231-7010 or athanas@vt.edu

Ray Bittner at 540/552-2120 or rbittner@vt.edu

Link to a more technical description of Wormhole RTR (http://pequod.visc.vt.edu/~www/)

Virginia Tech

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