Re: Star Bridge and hypercomputers

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Mon Aug 15 2005 - 14:07:45 MDT

On 8/15/05, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:

[story snipped]

Very interesting, thanks!

> As I said above, this has the potential to be relevant to SL4 because a
> reconfigurable supercomputer of this sort is urgently needed by the AI
> community. The hardware problems (heat) may soon be solvable, with
> radically new FPGA technologies that are over the horizon, and with the
> right kind of internal design it might be possible to understand and
> program the cells reliably. And meanwhile, the software engineering
> community would have to do some lateral thinking on the issues involved
> in real-world parallel programming.
> You will all have to let me know if any of the issues mentioned in that
> last paragraph are relevant to the SL4 list. Looks like no, from what I
> see.

Some of them might be. More importantly though, and the main reason I
asked about Star Bridge, is the general issue: SL4 technology does not
yet exist, and will only come into existence if humans solve the
engineering as well as scientific challenges associated with building
it, in a form that can be used in the field not only the laboratory;
and us technologists are prone to focus on problems of principle and
overlook those of practice.

It's important to develop a feel for the practical challenges that lie
ahead of us, and the best way I know of to do that, short of personal
experience (the most expensive teacher) is to look at other people's

- Russell

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