With the current advances in computer and networking technology coupled with the availability of software tools for parallel and distributed computing, there has been increased interest in high‐performance distributed computing (HPDC). We envision that HPDC environments with supercomputing capabilities will be available in the near future. However, a number of issues have to be resolved before future network‐based applications can fully exploit the potential of the HPDC environment. In the paper we present an architecture for a high‐speed local area network and a communication system that provides HPDC applications with high bandwidth and low latency. We also characterize the message‐passing primitives required in HPDC applications and develop a communication protocol that implements these primitives efficiently.
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