close this bookVolume 2: No. 27
View the documentNews -- research support
View the documentNews -- NSF program deadlines
View the documentThe following are from the NSF Bulletin
View the documentNews -- supercomputing; HPCC/NREN
View the documentNews -- research employment
View the documentResources -- career services
View the documentNews -- job opportunities
View the documentNews -- publication opportunities
View the documentNews -- legal issues; content-addressable memory

A new ruling by the Commerce Dept. restricts export of supercomputers with Composite Theoretical Performance greater than 195 million theoretical operations per second (Mtops). Different levels of licensing will be required for different countries. A Cray 1 from the mid-1970s would not be exportable to the Middle East, for instance. Mini-supercomputers and even some workstations are above the threshold, and there is currently no indexing provision to change the definition of "supercomputer" as technology changes. Cray Research is not happy with the definition, but is glad that it now has a definite rule to work with. [Brian Robinson, EE Times, 5/25.]

Dave Hughes ( has expressed a bit of concern over the politics of the National Research and Education Network (NREN): "Everything is in Virtual Unreality, where laws don't seem to apply, intents of Congress are irrelevant, the text of passed bills are Rorshach Ink Blots, cross-membership in one another's deals or organizations are so convoluted as to appear incestuous. And those who ought to be speaking out the loudest against NREN being implemented wrong are the quietest for fear they won't be in good favor by one winner-loser faction or another when it is implemented." [com-priv, 6/20.]

Gordon Cook ( is wondering who are the scientists who need the high-bandwidth communication lines that Congress and NSF propose to provide. Godon worked for three years at the JVNC Supercomputer Center. He says you can use a 2400bps modem to connect to "any Cray out there" in four NSF-sponsored centers and 38 state supercomputer centers. Output on a tape cartridge can be delivered the next day by Federal Express. If computations must be steered interactively, you just have to travel to one of the centers. [com-priv, 6/20.]

Massachusetts has the world's highest concentration of high- performance computing companies, including Alliant, Convex, DEC, Kendall Square Research Corp., Meiko Corp., Thinking Machines, and Wavetracer Inc. Massachusetts universities turn out 12% of the nation's PhDs in computer engineering, 10% in mathematics, and 7% in EE. State groups are looking to government HPC funding ($6B over 5 years) and subsequent sales to improve the job market. Revenue in massively parallel processing is expected to jump 90% this year and 25% per year for several more years. The 1,500 software companies in the state will also benefit. [Margaret Ryan, EE Times, 5/25.] (Time to apply for a job?)

DEC will build a research and manufacturing facility in Hudson, MA, for continued development of its Alpha RISC architecture. [CW, 6/8.] Meanwhile, only 3,700 workers took advantage of DEC's early retirement offer (including William Heffner, VP of image, voice, and video applications). Layoffs will be used to reach a 10,000 reduction this year. [Melinda- Carol Ballou, CW, 6/8.]

Intel's Touchstone Delta, with 513 I860 processors, is one of the most powerful computers ever built. It's tricky to program, though. Programmers at JPL have found that ported C and Fortran needs a high degree of custom programming and tuning. [Jean S. Bozman, CW, 6/8.]

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) has ordered a Cray Y-MP EL, the first Cray to be used for financial service analyses. [CW, 6/8.]

NCR will build a $30M research and manufacturing facility in Rancho Bernardo, CA. Development will focus on massively parallel computers, including database technology acquired from Teradata Corp. (through parent AT&T). [CW, 6/8.]