Ametek is and was an electronic instrument manufacturer. After the successful experiments at Caltech with the Cosmic Cube, Charles (Chuck) Seitz worked at Ametek to commercialize the idea. Units of two different models, the Ametek 14 and the Ametek 2010 were built and delivered, but the product line was abandoned by 1989.


The Ametek machines were classic multicomputers, ensembles of processors with private memories communicating via explicit messages. The Ametek 14 had a hypercube physical topology. The Ametek 2010 was reportedly the first commercial machine to implement "wormhole" routing, in a 2-D mesh.

The Ametek machines all claimed to support a reconfigurable topology, giving the application programmer the choice of Ring, 2-D, and 3-D mesh. Whether this was achieved through actual reconfiguration of the interconnect network, or simply by software simulation on top of the native network topology, is unclear.


The Ametek 14 was based on 80286/80287, and scaled to 256 processors. The Ametek 2010 has been said to have used 68020/68881 CPU/FPU pairs.


Like many early multicomputers, the Ametek machines were controlled by a more conventional "host" computer, in this case a VAX running UNIX. Language and debugging tools ran on the host, while a small message-passing executive ran on each of the computing nodes.

Strong Points?

Weak Points?

Lessons Learned?


Other Perspectives?

Other References

Seitz, C. L., Athas, W. C., Flaig, C. M., Martin, A. J., Seizovic, J., Steele, C. S., and Su,W.-K. ``The architecture and programming of the Ametek series 2010 multicomputer,'' in G.C. Fox, editor, Proceedings of the Third Conference on Hypercube Concurrent Computers andApplications, Volume 1, pages 33-36. ACM Press, New York, NY, 1988.

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