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December 18, 2008

The Week in Review

by John E. West

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from this week’s HPC news stream as reported at and HPCwire.

10 words and a link

Kogge on Spectrum Radio, DARPA’s gloomy predictions for exascale computing

Guide to building a PS3 cluster

HPC info graphic in the NYT

Irish researchers work with IBM optical networks in next-gen supers

Intel: three things you must teach in parallel programming

Google U: intro to parallel programming and MapReduce

PRACE Winter Petascale Computing School

Berkeley developing patterns for parallel programming

How to stand out in HPC

Acceleware ditches hardware, goes software only

Tour of NASA’s Pleiades (with video)

Serial semantics with Cilk++

NCSA’s HPC coloring book…genius

This in from NCSA’s newsfeed, an item that warms the cockles of my heart:

Looking for a stocking stuffer this holiday season? Check out NCSA’s supercomputing coloring book! Learn more about the resources NCSA provides and how this computing power helps scientists, engineers, and major companies.

This is fantastic. Makes me want to go ahead and finish up my “What is HPC” movie. Kudos to you, NCSA, for trying to broaden the reach of HPC down several age brackets.

Distributed computing with NVIDIA Cuda

NVIDIA cut a press release this week highlighting its participation (as a vendor) in various distributed computing projects. Using the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), researchers are tapping into the computational power sitting on the desks of every Dick and Jane NVIDIA user.

“NVIDIA CUDA technology opens up processing power for scientific research that was previously unavailable and impossible for researchers to afford,” said Dr. David Anderson, Research Scientist U.C. Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory and founder of BOINC. “CUDA technology makes it easy for scientists and researchers to optimize BOINC projects for NVIDIA GPUs and they are already using it for applications in molecular dynamics, protein structure prediction, climate and weather modeling, medical imaging, and many other areas.”

For a list of projects, check out the post at insideHPC.

UC and P&G Create Simulation Center

The University of Cincinnati and Proctor & Gamble have announced a collaborative effort to develop a center of expertise in computer simulation. The UC Simulation Center will provide P&G with cost-effective, high-value virtual modeling and simulation capacity and capability not currently found within the halls of P&G.  It will also serve as a pipeline for future technical talent.

“The more virtual engineering we can do, the more we can save in terms of costs, time, engineering resources, etc. We can do far more parametric studies applying virtual models — such as different sizes and shapes — because there is no retooling of fabrication machines,” Professor Teik C. Lim, head of UC’s Mechanical Engineering Department, points out. “For example, this practice has been gaining popularity amongst major automotive companies like Ford, Mercedes and Toyota because they cannot afford to build several variations of the same car.”

For more info on the new collaboration, read the full release.


John West is part of the team that summarizes the headlines in HPC news every day at You can contact him at