Orion Multisystems is working hard to bring clustering technology to workstations, in an effort to bring supercomputing like performance to the home user - something that will almost certainly be necessary with the software of tomorrow.

The company is offering clusters comprising 12 and 96 nodes in a desktop form factor - making possible performance levels of up to 300 GFlops. A computer system that would just about make it into the "Top 500" probably has about three times that. So you can quickly see just how much power we are potentially talking about.

"The 96-node system uses eight boards with twelve nodes each. The boards are connected via a 10gigE switch chip (10 Gbit uplink); the bandwidth between nodes is one Gbit. The processors in the design announced are Transmeta's Efficeon processors (90 nm) which will use clock speeds from 1.5 GHz to 1.6 GHz."