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October 07, 2005
Almost everyone loves to hear about the latest hot couple. Long after there were Fairbanks and Pickford or Gable and Lombard (OK, I'm really pre-dating myself here), the public has teetered on its collective seat over the latest disclosures surrounding high-profile pairings such as Ben & Jen (Lopez), Ben & Jen (Garner) or Brad and Jen (Aniston).
Sure, some of these pairings weren't anymore substantial than Britney Spears' first marriage or Renee Zellweger's recent altar trip, but Hollywood doesn't own the exclusive rights to "celebrity" pairings. The high tech crowd has gotten its dosage of buzz from matings including those of several wireless carriers as well as the Hewlett Packard-Compaq, Symantec-Veritas and EMC-StorageTek hookups.
But while most of these pairings have made as much sense to me as any newly disclosed couple, the recent news about NASA Ames Research Center and Google Inc., arguably, stands as the most dynamic duo since John & Yoko. (I know, dating myself again.)
The two Silicon Valley all-stars have made a splash by announcing their plans to work together on a spate of technology-related research and development projects that take in distributed computing, data management and something called "bio-info-nano convergence." Just like any Hollywood pairing, these activities, we are assured, would take place on in ultra-large scale.
For example, Google plans to develop as much as one million square feet of real estate within the NASA Research Park, located at Moffett Field, in Mountain View, Calif. Wouldn't one of those World War II-era blimp hangars there make the best indoor venue for Google's intramural flag football games?
But Google has some serious goals too. "Google and NASA share a common desire - to bring a universe of information to people around the world," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it. That's just one small example of how this collaboration could help broaden technology's role in making the world a better place."
That Google: always trying to make "the world a better place." Yes, so far I've been limited to having Google show me satellite images of my house. Believe Google is serious about its quest to own the universe - literally. As evidence, Google recently registered domains pairing itself with every planet in the solar system and to top it off also registered "googlegalactic.com" and "googleuniverse.com" for good measure.
"We already have Google Earth," said the company's director of search quality Peter Norvig. "We'd like to have Google Mars and Google Moon." Ah, doesn't every Romeo want to give his Juliet the moon? At the very least, the deal gives Google access to NASA researchers and the supercomputing prowess they have developed.
Turning serious for at least a moment, the Google-NASA pairing promises to go a long way toward bringing the capabilities of high performance computing - still an esoteric concept as understandable as the moon to many - closer to the mainstream's understanding. Just as the Council on Competitiveness strove to accomplish with its outstanding new DVD focusing on HPC in everyday life, Google's ubiquity matched with NASA Ames' otherworldly capabilities promise great advances that should trickle down to the common folk. Imagine what Google can do with access to NASA Ames' Project Columbia supercomputer, which boasts 10,000 processors. What a sweet trousseau, sure bets having to shop on Google's Froogle offering.
"The technologies created by the partnership of Google and NASA Ames not only will enable and enhance further exploration of space, it will positively impact the daily lives of all Americans for generations to come," said California representative Anna G. Eshoo. Not too much pressure there.
"NASA is drowning in information and we welcome someone who can help with this technological challenge," said Scott Pace, director of NASA Ames. This translated seems to mean that Google will play Felix and NASA will be Oscar in this presentation of "The Odd Couple."
And like any good Felix, Google already has a solution waiting. "Imagine if our supercomputering power can be applied to the problem," said Google's Schmidt. "I didn't realize how much content and information was trapped in the accumulated history of these organizations."
Imagine what could happen when Google's geeks start speaking supercomputing on a regular basis with NASA's engineers. Perhaps their first offspring will be three-dimensional versions of all the cool stuff on the Google Maps service.
Jun 18, 2013 |
The world's largest supercomputers, like Tianhe-2, are great at traditional, compute-intensive HPC workloads, such as simulating atomic decay or modeling tornados. But data-intensive applications--such as mining big data sets for connections--is a different sort of workload, and runs best on a different sort of computer.
Jun 18, 2013 |
Researchers are finding innovative uses for Gordon, the 285 teraflop supercomputer housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that has a unique Flash-based storage system. Since going online, researchers have put the incredibly fast I/O to use on a wide variety of workloads, ranging from chemistry to political science.
Jun 17, 2013 |
The advent of low-power mobile processors and cloud delivery models is changing the economics of computing. But just as an economy car is good at different things than a full size truck, an HPC workload still has certain computing demands that neither the fastest smartphone nor the most elastic cloud cluster can fulfill.
Jun 14, 2013 |
For all the progress we've made in IT over the last 50 years, there's one area of life that has steadfastly eluded the grasp of computers: understanding human language. Now, researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are utilizing a Hadoop cluster on its Longhorn supercomputer to move the state of the art of language processing a little bit further.
Jun 13, 2013 |
Titan, the Cray XK7 at the Oak Ridge National Lab that debuted last fall as the fastest supercomputer in the world with 17.59 petaflops of sustained computing power, will rely on its previous LINPACK test for the upcoming edition of the Top 500 list.
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04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?
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