This book is essentially an edited version of Hillis's landmark thesis describing the design and implementation of the Connection Machine (CM), a massively parallel computer. The philosophy behind the CM's design is that the right kind of machine for many important computational tasks is a machine with vast numbers of simple processors doing the same thing on different data. This notion of one processor per important data element (one processor per pixel in image processing) is inspiring.
The Connection Machine is not a textbook and may be intimidating to beginners, but it provides a wonderful picture of the kinds of issues involved in designing a new machine. The book is well written and features a host of interesting discussions by Hillis on related topics (such as general philosophy of parallel computing). Anyone interested in the subject of computer architecture will enjoy and profit greatly from this book.
"This wonderfully lucid book describes what history may judge to be the second state in the evolution of digital computers."
"The presentation is excellent.... As in the best of crime novels, the reader is made to become more and more curious as to how the central problem of the machine design will be solved I will refrain from giving any clues to the answer - it would spoil the suspense for future readers."
—A. M. Andrew
, Robotics "The Connection Machine
will be appreciated by those who require a lucid description of a computer design that is truly ingenious."
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.