“A High Performance Graphics System for the CRAY-1” by Ewald and Maas

  • ©Robert H. Ewald and Lynn D. Maas

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Title:

    A High Performance Graphics System for the CRAY-1

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Abstract:


    This paper describes the design and implementation of a state-of-the-art interactive vector graphics system connected to the CRAY-1 supercomputer. The primary design goal for this graphics system is that it support large hydrodynamic computer programs used in weapons design calculations. The interactive use of these programs requires displays consisting of up to 20,000 vectors, extensive interaction tools, and high-bandwidth communication rates. The major system components selected for this project were an Evans and Sutherland Picture System 2 and a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11/70 and PDP-11/34 running the UNIX operating system.

    This paper presents the system design goals and performance criteria. The hardware/software systems chosen for this project are reviewed, and the integration of this system into the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory’s (LASL) Integrated Computer Network (ICN) is described. This implementation involved most areas of applied computing, including computer graphics, communications, distributed processing, and computer security. The level of effort required for this implementation is described, and the results and benefits are presented. Future plans for this system are also briefly described.

References:


    1. Baskett, F., Howard, J. H., and J. T. Montague, “TASK Communication in DEMOS,” LA-UR-77-826, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report, February 1977.
    2. CULC, “Description of CULC FORTRAN IV PLUS,” Commercial Union Leasing Corportion, New York, 1977.
    3. Ferrin, T., “Picture System 2 Driver,” Computer Graphics Laboratory, University of California, San Franciso, CA, December 1977.
    4. Kellner, R., Reed, T., and A. Solem, “An Implementation of the ACM SIGGRAPH Proposed Graphics Standard in a Multi-system Environment,” LA-UR-78-1427, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report, 1978.
    5. Maas, L. D. and F. Gama-Lobo, “The Application of Interactive Graphics to Large Time-Dependent Hydrodynamics Problems,” LA-UR-75-763, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report, 1975.
    6. “PDP-11 FORTRAN Language Reference Manual,” Digital Equipment Corporation, No. DEC-11, LFLRA-C-D, Maynard, MA, 1975.
    7. “Picture System 2/PDP-11 Reference Manual,” Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 1976.
    8. “Picture System 2 Users’ Manual,” Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation, Salt Lake City, May 1977.
    9. Reed, T. N., “The Common Graphics System – An Implementation of the ACM/SIGGRAPH Proposed Graphics Standard,” LA-UR-78-1105, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report, 1978.
    10. Ritchie, D. M., and K. Thompson, “The UNIX Time-Sharing System,” Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, 1974.
    11. Rottman, J. N., “A Guide to the UNIX FORTRAN System,” Princeton University, September 1975.

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