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Celebrating 10 Years of "Plug-and-Play" Cluster Computing

Apple World Wide Developer Conference 2008

Usually a site of industry-changing events, Apple's Developer Conference brings hardware and software developers and vendors together to learn the latest plans from Apple about their burgeoning platforms and exposes its attendees to the latest technology from Apple and from other developers. This conference was notable as being the first WWDC to be "Sold Out".

At WWDC 2008, held at Moscone West in San Francisco, California, USA, in June 2008, Dauger Research presents:


Dauger Research presents this poster at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, June 11. Location: the Howard St. corridor on the second floor of Moscone West

An earlier oppotunity to meet is at the SF Mac Indie Event on Sunday evening at 5 pm.

Ten Years of Plug and Play Cluster Computing
look inside!

For more about Apple's 1998 publication on our clustering approach: AUA Page 1AUA Page 2AUA Page 3


In 1998, at the UCLA Plasma Physics group, we invented the Mac cluster to achieve accessible computational power for our research goals. On the Macintosh platform, we developed the earliest tools to build easy-to-use numerically-intensive parallel computing clusters.

From the beginning, our patented software technology supports the Message-Passing Interface, today a dominant industry standard.  We used Mac OS 8's AppleTalk to discover computing nodes across the network and support supercomputing-style communications on the Mac cluster. Using plasma physics calculations we use for research, we demonstrated performance on our 8-node Mac G3 cluster similar to that of 8 nodes of a Cray T3E.

Prompted by Mac OS X's introduction, in 2001 we introduced the first OS X cluster solution with the Pooch App debut, reincarnating Mac clustering with IP-based communication and network discovery. Development of Mac clusters continues, adapting to all six major versions of OS X, multiprocessing, Xserves, the G5, Bonjour-based node discovery, the Intel transition, seven MPI implementations, and multicore.

We apply our clustering approach to mainstream applications. We accelerate Wolfram Research's Mathematica by combining it with the programming paradigm of today's supercomputers. Our Mac cluster approach accelerates QuickTime video compression, particularly frame-reordering H.264, plugging into mainstream desktop video-editing applications such as Final Cut Pro. On a single 8-core Mac Pro, our solution exceeds Apple's multicore implementation by 300%, plus the ability to further increase performance with additional Macs. We are excited by the benefits clustering can bring mainstream computing.

The year 2008 marks the tenth anniversary of Mac clustering. We find that the reliability of cluster technology is as important as its performance. By "reinventing" the cluster computer, we provide a unique solution designed to maximize accessibility and usability for users.


  1. Apple University Arts 1998
  2. Pooch Firsts
  3. Dauger Research Media - IEEE Cluster and "Keeping America Strong" Awards
  4. Parallelization Tutorial
  5. Multicore Eroding Moore's Law at MacResearch.org
  6. Parallel Paradigm Tutorial
  7. Supercomputing Engine for Mathematica
  8. Pooch QuickTime Exporter
  9. Kenny's Cluster
  10. USC Cluster Achieving 233 GigaFlops
  11. USC Cluster Achieving 217 GigaFlops
  12. Dawson Cluster Achieving 1.21 TeraFlops
  13. CiSE Special Cluster Computing Issue
  14. Bonjour Network Discovery Technology Used for Clustering
  15. Supporting Open MPI

See also a list of additional Publications

  WWDC 2006 Shoot

Macintosh and Mac OS are trademarks of Apple
Pooch is a trademark of Dauger Research

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