App distributes processing across clusters

GridMathematica, a new version of a technical computing program from Wolfram Research Inc., simplifies distributing chunks of a massive calculation among processors in a grid or cluster.

GridMathematica comprises the Mathematica 4.2 application and Wolfram Research's Parallel Computing Toolkit, an add-on for high-level parallel processing, said Roger Germundsson, the Champaign, Ill., company's director of R&D. Commands such as ParallelEvaluate, ParallelTable and ParallelMap do the work of longer code in other programming languages.

The software is designed for so-called embarrassingly parallel computations, in which the same basic calculation must be repeated many times to search for optimal results or to serve many users.

GridMathematica runs under Unix, Linux, Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Systems in grids or clusters must be able to communicate with each other via TCP/IP.

Government pricing starts at $6,075 for one grid increment, which encompasses eight nodes. Wolfram Research spokesman Ben Wilson said the grid-enabled package is priced considerably lower than the total for its components.

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