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Introduction to Control Flow

Introduction to Control Flow
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Author(s): Ivan Ratković (Esperanto Technologies, Serbia) and Miljan Djordjevic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 13
Source title: Handbook of Research on Methodologies and Applications of Supercomputing
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Veljko Milutinović (Indiana University, Bloomington, USA) and Miloš Kotlar (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7156-9.ch002


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Modern supercomputer designs fall into distinct categories – data and control flow supercomputer design paradigms. Control flow stands as the go-to design philosophy in all von Neumann machines dominating the market thus far. New types of problems demand a different flow mindset – this is where the data flow machines come in play. This chapter introduces control-flow concept as well as its state-of-the-art examples. Introduction section goes over definitions of terms used in succeeding chapters and gives their brief explanations. A brief explanation of supercomputing as a whole given in the Introduction section is then followed by explanations of the data and control flow design philosophies, with real-world examples of both – multi-core, many-core, vector processors, and GPUs in Control Flow Paradigm section. The third section covers real-world processing unit examples, with a rundown of the best standard and low power commercial and supercomputing market representatives.

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