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2010 Supercomputing Conference

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Swiss Researchers Propose ‘GreenIT’ Methodology for HPC

The latest Green500 list announced this week at SC10 is once again shining the spotlight on the energy efficiency of the world’s top supercomputers. But the path to more efficient high performance computing goes beyond this simple benchmark-based approach. Ralf Gruber and Vincent Keller, both from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), describe a holistic approach to more energy-efficient HPC operations in their book, HPC@GreenIT. HPCwire contributor Steve Conway interviewed the Swiss duo about their ideas, including a new benchmark.

2010 Annual HPCwire Readers Choice Awards

Feature Articles from SC10

Is 10 Gigabit Ethernet Ready for HPC?

(11/18/2010) – Despite the still-modest showing of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) technology in high performance computing deployments, vendors at SC10 were showcasing a wide array of performance-laden Ethernet products. IT Brand Pulse Labs analyst Tim Dales takes a look at the prospects for 10GbE in high performance computing, the migration pattern from GbE to 10GbE, and some application areas that seem especially suitable for the technology.
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The Greening of HPC — A Conversation with Professor Wu Feng

(11/18/2010) – The increased awareness in the HPC community of the need to maximize energy efficiency in compute-intensive environments has never been greater. With The Green500 results coming out this week, HPCwire’s Caroline Connor turned to Professor Wu Feng from Virginia Tech, the man largely credited with the movement towards environmentally-sustainable supercomputing.
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Python Snakes Its Way Into HPC

(11/17/2010) – Interpreted programming languages usually don’t find too many friends in high performance computing. Yet Python, one of the most popular general-purpose interpreted languages, has garnered a small community of enthusiastic followers. True believers got the opportunity to hear about the language in the HPC realm in a tutorial session on Monday and a BoF session on Wednesday. Argonne National Lab’s William Scullin, who participated in both events, talked with HPCwire about the status of Python in this space and what developers might look forward to.
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The Not-So-Unlikely Marriage of CUDA and x86

(11/16/2010) – NVIDIA’s CUDA is easily the most popular programming language for general-purpose GPU computing. But one of the more interesting developments in the CUDA-verse doesn’t really involve GPUs at all. In September, HPC compiler vendor PGI (The Portland Group Inc.) announced its intent to build a CUDA compiler for x86 platforms. The technology will be demonstrated for the first time in public at SC10 this week in New Orleans.
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A Call to Arms for Parallel Programming Standards

(11/16/2010) – Although the parallel programming landscape is relatively young, it’s already easy to get lost in. Beside legacy frameworks like MPI and OpenMP, we now have NVIDIA’s CUDA, OpenCL, Cilk, Intel Threading Building Blocks, Microsoft’s parallel programming extensions for .NET, and a whole gamut of PGAS languages. And according to Intel’s Tim Mattson, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
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Graph 500 Takes Aim at a New Kind of HPC

(11/15/2010) – Data-intensive applications are quickly emerging as a significant new class of HPC workloads. For this class of applications, a new kind of supercomputer, and a different way to assess them, will be required. That is the impetus behind the Graph 500, a set of benchmarks that aim to measure the suitability of systems for data-intensive analytics applications.
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SGI Gets Its Mojo Working for Supercomputing Conference

(11/15/2010) – SGI has made good on its promise to create a petaflop-in-a-cabinet supercomputer that can scale up to tens and even hundreds of cabinets. Developed under the code name “Project Mojo,” the company has dubbed the new product Prism XL. SGI will be showcasing the system this week in their exhibit booth at the Supercomputing Conference in New Orleans.
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The Business of Disruptive Innovation

(11/14/2010) – Like every technology-based sector, high performance computing takes its biggest leaps by the force of disruptive innovation, a term coined by the man who will keynote this year’s Supercomputing Conference (SC10) in New Orleans. Clayton M. Christensen doesn’t know a whole lot about supercomputing, but he knows a great deal about the forces that drive it.
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Special Commentary from SC10

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Exotics at SC10
Yes, there is life beyond Xeons, Opterons and GPGPUs. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Podcast: More GPUs On Demand; Fledgling Graph 500 List
Addison and Michael revisit some news items from last week’s Supercomputing Conference. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Conference Highlights Dividing Lines Across GPGPUs
If there was a dominating theme at the Supercomputing Conference this year, it had to be GPU computing. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Podcast: Highlights from SC10
Addison and Michael consider the results of the TOP500 and Green500, pick the winners and losers of SC10, and discuss the biggest news of the week. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
InfiniBand Continues Upward Climb in Top Supers
Lost in the hoopla about the ascendency of China and GPGPUs in the TOP500 is the continuing saga of the InfiniBand-Ethernet interconnect rivalry.Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
GPGPUs, China Take the Lead in TOP500
Top seven supercomputers make it into the petaflop club. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
What to Look for at SC10
A short list of “can’t miss” sessions at this year’s Supercomputing conference. Read more…

Off the Wire from SC10