Deskside Supercomputers - History of the Desktop
From time to time, we have seen companies exploring variations of high-end desktop computers. For example, there was the Unisys Micro A desktop mainframe system, based on the 48-bit SCAMP microprocessor, in 1989. Of course, desktop computers have not always been "desk-top" designs, but came also in tower, midtower and minitower versions. In 2004, Orion Multisystems pitched the idea of a desktop cluster system as a "deskside supercomputer". The systems came as 12- and 96-node tower computers that were designed around Transmeta's 1.6 GHz Efficeon CPU. Orion promised a performance up to 300 GFlops, which was about a third of the performance required to enter the list of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers at the time. The systems were priced from about $10,000 to $100,000.