Computing Fabrics (1998-2003)

On May 19, 2003: Eric Lundquist, Editor-in-Chief of eWeek, recognized that IBM's On-Demand Computing, HP's Adaptive Enterprise, and Sun's N1 are all movements towards Computing Fabrics as we first predicted them in 1998.

On January 7, 2002: eWeek called our 1998 Computing Fabrics Cover Story "Prescient"
and declared The Grid, a subset of Computing Fabrics, "The Next Big Thing".

Riding the
Third Wave

In the News 2002-2004

Computing's Next Wave 1998
(The First Report)

The Next Big Thing 2002
Computing Fabrics & Grids

The Three Waves of Computing


Defined & Compared


Conferences & Workshops

The Bigger Picture


Computing Fabrics Architecture


  1. The fundamental constituents of a fabric are nodes and links.
  2. A node consists of processor(s), memory, and/or peripherals or their functional equivalents.
  3. Links provide a functional connection between nodes and serve as the basis of coupling.
  4. A fabric contains one or more regions of tightly coupled nodes, called cells. The simplest cell is a single node. Tightly coupled means a cell appears the same as a single node, even though it consists of potentially many nodes. Tight coupling may be achieved in hardware, software, or both, though performance will vary greatly with implementation.
  5. Within the fabric, cells are loosely coupled with each other. A loose coupling of cells does not appear the same as a single node.
  6. The fabric as a whole, and each cell within, can grow or shrink in a modular fashion, meaning nodes and links can be added and removed.
  7. The boundaries of the fabric, and of cells within the fabric, are potentially fluid. Nodes from the fabric surrounding a cell may join that cell. Nodes within a cell may leave that cell and join the surrounding fabric. Cells can fission as well as fuse.
Updated October 5, 1998
Computing Fabric Animation



By Linda Von Schweber
& Erick Von Schweber

Copyright 1996-2004 by Infomaniacs. All Rights Reserved.
Updated May 28, 2003