Hardware and Software Portability and Performance
Portability of astronomical image processing and data analysis software in the context of a rapidly changing computer marketplace is discussed. Three levels of portability are considered: vendor (trust DEC and keep running VMS on VAXes), operating system (adopt UNIX and ensure portability among a wide range of high-performance scientific computers) and applications (follow the model of IRAF and AIPS). Hardware performance of scientific computers is discussed in terms of several buzz words: MIPS, MFLOPS, vector, parallel, RISC and VLIW. Finally, a necessarily brief and personally biased buyer’s guide is presented for the current market in scientific computers of interest to optical astronomers doing image processing.
KeywordsProduct Line Pyramid
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