The Warp architecture represents a significant breakthrough in systolic computing. Systolic arrays have previously been known to be highly efficient, but special-purpose hardware architectures. The cost of dedicated hardware is so prohibitive that although many different systolic algorithms have been designed, few have been implemented. The Warp project demonstrates that programmability can be achieved without sacrificing efficiency. Even in its prototype form, the Warp machine can already deliver execution speeds for many numerical oriented applications that rival existing supercomputers. The availability of the single-chip iWarp processor will make a significant impact on the practice of parallel computing. Arrays of thousands of cells are feasible, programmable, and much cheaper than many other supercomputers of comparable power.
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