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3.1.7 Sixth Generation (1990 -- )     continued...

Combinations of parallel/vector architectures are well established, and one corporation (Fujitsu) has announced plans to build a system with over 200 of its high end vector processors. Manufacturers have set themselves the goal of achieving teraflops ( 10 arithmetic operations per second) performance by the middle of the decade, and it is clear this will be obtained only by a system with a thousand processors or more. Workstation technology has continued to improve, with processor designs now using a combination of RISC, pipelining, and parallel processing. As a result it is now possible to purchase a desktop workstation for about $30,000 that has the same overall computing power (100 megaflops) as fourth generation supercomputers. This development has sparked an interest in heterogeneous computing: a program started on one workstation can find idle workstations elsewhere in the local network to run parallel subtasks.