The group aims to develop software and hardware for next generation scientific computing. Merrimac (a Native American word meaning "swift stream") uses stream architecture and advanced interconnection networks to give an order of magnitude more performance per unit cost than cluster-based scientific computers built from the same technology.
Organizing the computation into streams and exploiting the resulting locality using a register hierarchy enables a stream architecture to reduce the memory bandwidth required by representative applications by an order of magnitude or more. Hence a processing node with a fixed bandwidth (expensive) can support an order of magnitude more arithmetic units (inexpensive). This in turn allows a given level of performance to be achieved with fewer nodes (a 1-PFLOPS machine, for example, with just 8,192 nodes) resulting in greater reliability, and simpler system management.
The Merrimac group is working on the architecture design and is also performing initial development of applications using Brook (a stream-based programming language).
For more information please visit the Merrimac website.
Merrimac: Supercomputing with Stream: W. Dally et al. Supercomputing Conference 2003, November 15-21, 2003, Phoenix, Arizona, USA