Algorithm and Hardware for a Merge Sort Using Multiple Processors
by S. J. P. Todd
An algorithm is described that allows log(n) processors to sort n records in just over 2n write cycles, together with suitable hardware to support the algorithm. The algorithm is a parallel version of the straight merge sort. The passes of the merge sort are run overlapped, with each pass supported by a separate processor. The intermediate files of a serial merge sort are replaced by first-in first-out queues. The processors and queues may be implemented in conventional solid logic technology or in bubble technology. A hybrid technology is also appropriate.