Accelerating Time to Market by Reducing System Test Time

A. Santana, T.C.M.B. Carvalho (Brazil), P.G. Crumley, J.E. Moreira, A. Sanomiya, and R.A. Swetz (USA)


Test methodology, control system, parallel processing and reducing time to market.


In today’s marketplace, reducing the product development time is a deciding factor for the success of a new supercomputer. This paper presents a new test methodology, that we used to reduce the duration of the development phase for the new version of the fastest computer in 2005[3], Blue Gene (BG). Our major contribution is the developed of a new test methodology, which we have applied to part of the new Blue Gene. The main test process consists of executing several integration and performance tests on the new control system version of the parallel processing machines. Although the architecture of the new control system differs considerably from the current one, we were able to hook up the new control system version to the current BG. These tests combining both supercomputer versions enabled us to identify and correct many design errors that would otherwise appear in a later, more critical phase. This approach reduces the total development time, as discussed here.

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