Re: Rationale: No New OS.

my inner geek (
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 19:24:19 +0800 (Dan Clemmensen):

> We've been building peer-processor datacomms swithces since I designed
> the architecture for our first one in 1985. I do try to keep up with
> this stuff. Please beleive me when I say that the networking isn't
> particularly hard. The problem is in task assignment and task migration.
> Note that when the computers are all in the same room, there are cheaper
> ways to build a Beowulf than by using ether-switches. In particular,
> if the comuters are arranged in a grid, each computer can use two 100BaseT
> cards instead of one. In this arrangement each computer can act as a crosspoint
> for its row and column, switching on average only as many packets as it
> originates or terminates. This gives you massive, incrementally expandble
> bandwidth for approximately $50/node.

Do you have much knowledge of radio telemetry and digital amplification? I'm wondering if it would be possible to build a generic wireless computing box that is capable of autonegotiating an optimal datacast hierarchy. In other words, using wireless signaling, have the boxes self-organize so that some data is being broadcast to all other boxes, and some data is being point-cast between boxes.

As far as "task migration", couldn't you have the tasks "automagically" balance by having them transferred between processing nodes directly through the air?

I'm not sure what the state of the art is in high-resolution high-speed gain amplification, but it seems that you could have a signalling system that doesn't pollute the electromagnetic spectrum, but is sufficiently intelligent to carry traffic across large areas.

Would it be possible to have a large supercomputer made up of such nodes, such that the same devices could also be a wireless telecommunications infrastructure, at the same time as being a distributed computing system?

You could make it such that you mass produce the boxes (with superscalar RAM), to achieve the lowest possible per unit cost.