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2013 Supercomputing Conference

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SC13 in Review: The Week’s Top Newsmakers

sc13_logo This year at SC13 we counted over 100 HPC-specific announcements that hit the wires over the course of the week, many of which were from vendors, organizations and users that we were within a short walk across the show floor in Denver. We wanted to point to some of the key newsmakers during the show, but before we delve deeper into some of their news items, there were some stories that deemed “best in show” during the course of the event. Read more…

Feature Articles from SC13

SC13 Wrapup: Supercomputing’s Top Themes

sc13_logo (11/24/2013) -  For those of us who traveled to Denver for SC13, it's now back to "normal" as the year in high performance computing begins its slow descent into relative silence before a fresh start in 2014. Sitting down to plow through the plethora of new items to pluck for a top announcements article seemed impossible without first discussing some of Read more…

HPC Luminaries Reflect on 25 Years of SC

(11/23/2013) -  As SC13 comes to a close, we thought it might be a good time to take a look back at what the last 25 years of the SC conference has meant for key people in the supercomputing space. From Jack Dongarra, Horst Simon, Kathy Yelick and others, take a step back in time (and see how no one has aged a bit) and listen to these handful of perspectives Read more…

Intel Brings Knights to the Roundtable at SC13

A dashing Raj Hazra displays his wares. (11/23/2013) -  This week during SC13, Intel hosted a roundtable session to discuss the future of its upcoming Knights Landing product, hitting on where the key benefits are expected for technical computing users and how Knight’s Landing might influence the shape of next generation systems and applications. As Intel turns its focus on the Xeon front to Read more…

Micron Exposes the Double Life of Memory with Automata Processor

2013_07_10_2551_3000px_label_2 (11/22/2013) -  If we had to take a pick from some of the most compelling announcements from SC13, the news from memory vendor (although that narrow distinction may soon change) Micron about its new Automata processor is at the top of the list. While at this point there’s still enough theory to lead us to file this under a technology to watch, the concept is Read more…

Gordon Bell Prize Bubbles from Sequoia

TinyBubbles (11/22/2013) -  Each year at SC, the ACM hands out one of the most coveted awards, the Gordon Bell Prize. The award, which became a regular feature of SC, began in 1987 and now carries a $10,000 prize sponsored by parallel computing luminary, Gordon Bell. Winners demonstrate high peak performance figures on real world applications or demonstrate other Read more…

Mont Blanc Forges Cluster from Smartphone Chips

BSC-Mare-Nostrum (11/22/2013) -  The Mont Blanc project, an effort by a number of European supercomputing centers and vendors that seeks to create an energy-efficient supercomputer based on ARM processors and GPU coprocessors, has put together its third prototype. That is one more step on the path to an exascale system. The third generation machine, which is being shown Read more…

NVIDIA Kepler Parts Top Green500

Green500 logo (11/22/2013) -  Twice a year, in step with the biannual TOP500 list, the Green500 list ranks the most powerful systems in the world based on energy-efficiency. Published Wednesday evening at SC13, this year's Green500 list continues a trend from Read more…

SC Launches HPC Matters Video Challenge

SC14 hpc matters - cropped logo (11/21/2013) -  With SC13 in Denver, Colorado, starting to wind down, this mostly-volunteer organization is looking ahead to SC14, where the conference will reprise its SC10 venue: New Orleans. The theme for next year's show is HPC Matters. So why does HPC matter? We can get carried Read more…

HPC Power Efficiency and the Green500

purty (11/20/2013) -  The first Green500 List was launched in November 2007 ranking the energy efficiency of supercomputers. Co-founder Kirk W. Cameron discusses the events that led to creation of the Green500 List, its maturation, and future directions. An Early Supercomputer Efficiency “List” In 2001 the notions of Green HPC and energy Read more…

HPC Quiz: How Do Your SC Credentials Stack Up?

quiz (11/19/2013) -  How do your SC skills stack up? Take this quiz and share the results with its author, Andrew Jones, aka @HPCnotes on Twitter or (maybe not) with your boss... Q1. Your boss asks you “what is this SC thing then”? Do you:

a)       Panic and remain mute, hoping they

Read more…

SC13 Talk Pushes HPC in New Educational Directions

Dunning won the prize (11/19/2013) -  According to Dr. Thom Dunning from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, science and engineering research has been revolutionized by computation but, to date computing has largely been used to organize, prepare for and disseminate courses. Dunning says that “The potential of using these technologies to teach students the fundamental Read more…

Top 500 Interconnect History Highlights Ethernet Trends

interconnect (11/19/2013) -  As we related earlier when the news of the Top 500 rankings broke this morning, this November’s SC list was a rather static one in terms of the top ten systems. While this isn’t entirely unexpected since it was not likely anyone would usurp China’s dominance and since there were no big processor movements in the last year that would warrant Read more…

LINPACK Creator Sheds Light on Emerging HPC Benchmark

financialmarkets3 (11/18/2013) -  Back in June during the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC), we discussed the need for a potential alternative to the current LINPACK benchmark, which is the sturdy yardstick by which supercomputing might is measured, with its creator, Dr. Jack Dongarra. At that time, he described a Read more…

Extreme Computational Biology at SC13: An Interview with Dr. Klaus Schulten

Schulten meeting Tom (11/18/2013) -  According to Dr. Klaus Schulten from the University of Illinois, the molecular dynamics and visualization programs NAMD and VMD, which serve over 300,000 registered users in many fields of biology and medicine, are pushing the limits of extreme scale computational biology. Schulten says these programs can operate on a wide variety of hardware Read more…

Tesla GPU Accelerators Hit the Gas with GPU Boost

nvidia-eye-logo (11/18/2013) -  Nvidia is rolling out a new top-end GPU accelerator, called the Tesla K40, that has both more processing capacity and more memory than the current K20X accelerator that is popular in high-end clusters – particularly those that need double precision floating point math. The upgrade is offering significant performance improvements through the Read more…

Breaking: Results in for this Year’s Top500 Supercomputer List

Tianhe-2 (11/18/2013) -  While we hope you'll stay tuned this morning for a detailed analysis of major trends on this year's Top500 list, for now, we wanted to deliver the breaking results of this year's systems, many of which are not surprising when compared to last year's June list. As you can see below from the Top 10, very little movement--although there are some Read more…

SC13 Research Highlight: Dynamic Electric Pricing for Energy Aware Scheduling

complex_event_processing (11/16/2013) -  As supercomputers continue to grow, so do the associated electricity bills. These costs are now a leading component of total cost of ownership (TCO) of HPC systems. A team from the Illinois Institute of Technology and Argonne National Laboratory aims to reduce electricity expense of HPC systems via a smart batch scheduling Read more…

SC13 Research Highlight: Large Graph Processing Without the Overhead

(11/16/2013) -  Many real world information networks consist of millions or billions of vertices representing heterogeneous entities and billions or trillions of edges representing heterogeneous types of relationships among entities. [caption id="attachment_1683" align="alignleft" width="200"]Read more…

SC13 Research Highlight: Extreme Scale Plasma Turbulence Simulation

Electrostatic field in magnetically confined plasmas (Image courtesy of Kwan-Liu Ma, UC Davis) (11/16/2013) -  As the global energy economy makes the transition from fossil fuels toward cleaner alternatives, fusion becomes an attractive potential solution for satisfying the growing needs. Fusion energy, which is the power source for the sun, can be generated on earth, for example, in magnetically-confined laboratory plasma experiments (called Read more…

SC13 Research Highlight: COCA Targets Datacenter Costs, Carbon Neutrality

cloudwalls (11/16/2013) -  The rapid growth of high performance computing and cloud computing services in recent years has contributed to the dramatic increase in the number and scale of data centers, resulting in a huge demand for electricity. According to recent studies, the combined electricity consumption of global data centers amounts to 623 billion kWh annually Read more…

Special Commentary from SC13

Big Data Begets Big Storage Announcements; SC13 Winds Down
This week's podcast discusses big announcements from NetApp, Xyratex, and DataDirect Networks. Read more…
TOP500 Treads Water; New Chips Look to the Future
This week’s podcast discusses the TOP500 list, including a new member to that list, the Piz Read more…
Big Data and Exascale Go a Mile High; Looking Ahead to SC13
This week’s podcast discusses NEC’s release of the SX-ACE supercomputer and NVIDIA’s CUDA 6. Read more…

Off the Wire from SC13