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History of PDC

Origins of PDC

A long, long time ago... in 1988, a group of scientists at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan) applied for a grant to buy a massively parallel computer. A driving force behind the application was the belief that massive parallelism would become an important technology both in computer science and high-performance computing.

Equally important, there was a need for the performance that could be delivered by such an architecture. The computer market was surveyed and it was decided that the Thinking Machines Corporation (TMC) offered the best choice with its Connection Machine system, CM-2. Money was granted and during the fall of 1989 TMC installed an 8K Connection Machine CM-2 at KTH.

At this time the idea came up to group together resources and activities around the CM2 and already existing parallel computers. Thus, what was to be called the Center for Parallel Computers was formed and inaugurated by Janne Carlsson, the President of KTH, on January 15, 1990. In January 1991 PDC applied for an upgrade of the CM-2 to a CM-200. The application was successful and the upgrade was installed in December 1991.

Gert Svensson, now Deputy Director of PDC, with the CM-200 in 1991

Computers through PDC's history

Over the years PDC has had several high-ranking systems in the TOP500 list, which lists the 500 most powerful computer systems that are publically known about in the world. The table below highlights some of PDC's major systems and their ranking. For a detailed list, visit PDC's TOP500 entry .

Highlights of PDC's TOP500 entries

Year Rank Processors Peak GFLOPS System Vendor Name
2017 69 67456 2438000 XC40 Cray Beskow
2014 32 53632 1973658 XC40 Cray Beskow
2011 31 36384 305626.00 XE6 12-core 2.1 GHz Cray Lindgren
2010 76 11016 92534.40 XT6m 12-core 2.1 GHz Cray Lindgren
2010 89 9800  86024.40 PowerEdge SC1435 Dual core Opteron 2.2GHz, Infiniband Dell Ekman
2005 65 886 5670.40 PowerEdge 1850 3.2 GHz, Infiniband Dell Lenngren
2003 196 180 648.00 Cluster Platform 6000 rx2600 Itanium2 900 MHz Cluster, Myrinet HP Lucidor
1998 60 146 93.44 SP P2SC 160 MHz IBM Strindberg
1996 64 96 17.17 SP2/96 IBM Strindberg
1994 341 256 2.50 CM-200/8k Thinking Machines Bellman

PDC Reports

PDC Progress Reports (1990-2003)

The PDC Progress Reports chronicled developments at PDC from 1990-2003. PDF versions of the reports are available below for historical interest. Please note that some of the reports may be missing figures which were not available in electronic form.


From 1993 to 2005 PDC issued the following reports in the Transactions of the Royal Institute of Technology (TRITA) series. (Some of these reports can be found in the archive at Los Alamos - search on title or author.)

List of PDC Reports in the Transactions of the Royal Institute of Technology (TRITA) series