A PC Cluster System Employing the IEEE 1394

K. Hyoudou, R. Ozaki, and Y. Nakayama (Japan)


Cluster Computing, IEEE 1394, Communication Libraries,Performance Evaluation


In this paper, we describe the design and evaluation of a PC cluster system in which IEEE 1394 is applied. Net works for parallel cluster computing require low latency and high bandwidth. It is also important that the networks be commercially available at low cost. Few network de vices satisfy all of the above requirements. However, the IEEE 1394 standard provides a good compromise for ful ļ¬lling these requirements. We have used IEEE 1394, which supports a 400 Mbps data transfer rate, to connect the nodes of a PC cluster system which we have designed and im plemented. We have implemented two communication li braries. One is a fast communication library called CF for IEEE 1394. The other is an MPI layer library on the CF li brary. Experimental results show that CF achieves an 18.8 microsecond round-trip time. On application benchmarks, the system was considerably faster than TCP/IP over Fast Ethernet. Even though the system was constructed at very low cost, it provides good performance. Using the IEEE 1394 standard is thus a good solution for low-cost cluster systems.

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