Flattened Butterfly Network Lets Data Fly Through Supercomputers and Multicore Processors

Interconnect architecture allows for the most efficient routing of data, developer says

4 min read
Flattened Butterfly Network Lets Data Fly Through Supercomputers and Multicore Processors


Photo: Lee Pettet/istockphoto

16 July 2008—As both computer chips and supercomputers grow more powerful by linking together more and more processors, they risk wasting money, energy, and time by sending data among processors over inefficient routes. The amount of time a supercomputer spends shuttling data around can vary dramatically but averages between 10 percent and 30 percent. Now one Stanford engineer says he and his colleagues at supercomputer maker Cray have the most efficient scheme yet for directing all that traffic—an architecture he calls the ”flattened butterfly.”

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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