Features

ASC Testimonials: Behind the Student Supercomputer Hackathon

Jan 25, 2016 | Since invitation for global registration, ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge 2016 (ASC16) has received applications from universities around the world, including the overall champion of Tsinghua University in ASC, ISC and SC, Purdue University and other world-renowned universities. Growing sharply from 27 colleges and universities in 2012 to 135 ones and 152 teams and from a regional activity to a worldwide event covering five continents, ASC has become the world’s largest and most Read more…

A Conversation with James Reinders

Jan 21, 2016 | As Chief Evangelist of Intel Software Products, James Reinders spends most of his working hours thinking about and promoting parallel programming. He’s essentially a professor at large, attuning himself to the needs of software developers with an interest in parallel programming so he can offer guidance on techniques, ways of learning, and ways to "think parallel" – all with a strong Intel bent, naturally. As Intel moved from a multicore paradigm to a manycore one with the introduction Read more…

Handicapping IBM/OpenPOWER’s Odds for Success

Jan 19, 2016 | 2016 promises to be pivotal in the IBM/OpenPOWER effort to claim a non-trivial chunk of the Intel-dominated high-end server landscape. Big Blue’s stated goal of 20-to-30 percent market share is huge. Intel currently enjoys 90-plus percent share and has seemed virtually unassailable. In an ironic twist of the old mantra ‘no one ever got fired buying IBM’ it could be that careers at Big Blue rise or fall based upon progress. It’s just two years since (Dec. 2013) IBM (NYSE: IBM), NVIDIA Read more…

Argonne Paves the Way for Future Systems

Jan 14, 2016 | Last April, the third and final piece of the CORAL acquisition program clicked into place when the U.S. Department of Energy signed a $200 million supercomputing contract with Intel to supply Argonne National Laboratory with two next-generation Cray supercomputers: an 8.5-petaflop “Theta” system based on Knights Landing (KNL) and a much larger 180-petaflop “Aurora” supercomputer. The staff at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), where the machines will be deployed, is Read more…

Exascale Programming: Adapting What We Have Can (and Must) Work

Jan 14, 2016 | The demands of massive concurrency and increased resilience required for effective exascale computing have led to claims that our existing approach to application programming must be replaced. In this article I argue that disruption is inevitable but will not require new languages or programming environments. Instead disruption will be in application design, introducing new control layers that will provide the concurrency, adaptability and resilience features we need in order to achieve Read more…

DDN’s Alex Bouzari on Beating Moore’s Law

Jan 13, 2016 | As 2015 was in its home stretch, DataDirect Networks (DDN) refreshed its high performance SFA block storage line with the launch of SFA14K and SFA14KE, formerly codenamed “Wolfcreek.” DDN also took the wraps off its Infinite Memory Engine (IME14K), which leverages solid state and nonvolatile memory technologies to create a data caching tier between processor and parallel file system, effectively cutting latency and speeding applications. In an interview with HPCwire, DDN CEO Read more…

Moore’s Law – Not Dead – and Intel’s Use of HPC to Keep it Alive

Jan 11, 2016 | Gordon Moore’s 1965 article on the economics driving the increase of semiconductor functionality has turned out to be wildly prophetic in terms of the effect on transistor scaling. Nearly 40 years later, in 2004, Intel was building microprocessors on the 90 nanometer process with 150 million transistors in a single chip. Today, we’re putting as many as 1.35 billion transistors in a processor with features as small as 14 nm. That’s approaching 10x the number of transistors with 6x finer Read more…

Towards Ubiquitous HPC — Passing HPC into the hands of every engineer and scientist

Jan 7, 2016 | Countless case studies demonstrate impressively the importance of HPC for engineering and scientific insight, product innovation, and market competitiveness. But so far HPC was mostly in the hands of a relatively small elite crowd, not easily accessible by the large majority.  In this article, however, we argue that – despite the ever increasing complexity of HPC hardware and system components –engineers and scientists have never been this close to HPC, i.e. ubiquitous HPC, as a common Read more…

Penguin Computing Mines Commodity Gold

Jan 6, 2016 | We recently sat down with Fremont, Calif.-based Penguin Computing to learn about the Linux cluster specialist’s unique approach to the HPC and hyperscale market, and how this privately owned company has managed to hold its own and then some against much larger competitors like Dell and HP on the hardware side and Amazon on the public cloud side. Matt Jacobs, Penguin’s senior vice president worldwide sales, emphasized the end-to-end nature of Penguin’s product set, which includes Read more…

Cray’s Barry Bolding on 2016 Trends Including Big Data and the HPC Productivity Imperative

Jan 4, 2016 | Cray doesn’t do Top500 press releases says Barry Bolding, Cray SVP and Chief Strategy Officer. Not a bad strategy when you don’t have to: five Crays are in the Top Ten of the latest Top500 list (Nov. 2015) including the two newest machines (Trinity (DOE) and Hazel-Hen (HLRS)). Media coverage and market notice are inevitable. Indeed Cray’s success at the supercomputing pinnacle is a thing of envy. It has helped drive roughly 20 percent Read more…