The recent advances in high speed networks and improved microprocessor performance are making clusters or networks of workstations an appealing vehicle for cost effective parallel computing. Clusters built using commodity hardware and software components are playing a major role in redefining the concept of supercomputing.
The trend in parallel computing is to move away from specialized platforms, such as the Cray/SGI T3E to cheaper, general purpose systems consisting of loosely coupled components built up from single or multi-processor workstations or PCs. This approach has a number of advantages including that of being able to build a platform for a given budget, which is suitable for a large class of applications and workloads.
The TFCC is an international forum promoting cluster computing research and education. It participates in helping to set up and promote technical standards in this area. The Task Force is concerned with issues related to the design, analysis, development and implementation of cluster-based systems. Of particular interest are: cluster hardware technologies, distributed environments, application tools and utilities, as well as the development and optimisation of cluster-based applications.
The TFCC sponsors professional meetings, publish newsletters and other documents, set guidelines for educational programs, as well as help co-ordinate academic, funding agency, and industry activities in the above areas. The TFCC organizes an annual conference and hold a number of workshops that would span the range of activities sponsored by the Task Force. In addition, TFCC publishes a bi-annual newsletter to help IEEE/Computer Society members keep abreast of the events occurring within this field.
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