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September 10, 2009
Here is a collection of highlights from this week's news stream as reported by HPCwire.
Air Force Funds Quantum Computing Research
Grid Project Connects Researchers on Both Sides of Atlantic
Purdue Tapped to Lead Earthquake Engineering Network
NVIDIA Releases OpenCL Visual Profiler
Graphite-based Memory Chips Show Promise
SC09 Draws Over 40 First-Time Exhibitors
Cray Selected for Korean Weather Forecasting
NOAA Increases Accuracy of Weather Forecasts
Texas Memory Acquires Storage Technology from Incipient
Univa Announces OpenSolaris Version of UniCluster
Welcome to the FutureGrid
Indiana University has been tasked with creating an experimental supercomputing network called FutureGrid. The IU researchers and nine national and international partners will focus on developing software and techniques to link together supercomputers in order to solve massive-scale scientific problems, such as climate system modeling and DNA analysis. Of the $15 million in funding, $10.1 million comes from the NSF and the remainder from partners. The linked systems will serve as a gigantic testbed:
"One way of looking at the FutureGrid is to think of it as an 'experiment factory' in which supercomputers can be interconnected in a myriad of different ways to find out which connections and software combinations work together and which do not," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and CIO. "The ultimate goal is to create a system that researchers can use to most effectively match cyberinfrastructure and scientific needs in ways that help us make new discoveries most effectively."
Geoffrey C. Fox, picked to lead the project, explained it thusly:
"FutureGrid will serve as a proving ground for new, distributed computing systems and will open up exciting new avenues for scientific collaboration and research. We envision the grids and clouds of the future not as a single system, but as many linked systems. For this reason we are engaging an incredible set of academic and commercial partners throughout the U.S. and in Europe to participate in FutureGrid."
May the Best Chip Win
David Kanter at Real World Technologies took a stab at comparing the computational efficiencies of the current crop of CPUs and GPUs (and Cell processor). He does a nice job of outlining the fallacies of looking at peak performance metrics, but settles on looking at peak performance per watt and peak performance per die area (square mm). The latter metric seems a bit strange, but Kanter managed to come up with some pretty interesting observations regardless.
His basic conclusion: The differences between computation efficiency in GPUs and CPUs are smaller than most people might think. In particular, from an energy efficiency standpoint, low-power chips like Intel's Atom are as good or better than top-end GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD, and even the server chips like Nehalem and Istanbul hold their own against their graphics brethren. The main weakness of the analysis is that it's based on double precision (DP) floating point performance, a relatively new and underpowered feature in GPUs. If Kanter had used single precision, the results would have looked very different.
Here's the sound bite conclusion from the article:
The bottom line of this rough analysis is that the gap between CPUs and GPUs isn’t quite as big as some have claimed, considering the power and die area. When taking these factors into account, GPUs seem to have a clear performance/mm2 advantage. However, performance/watt is more important and in that particular metric, CPUs can come much closer (at the cost of single threaded performance). GPUs are still very effective for certain workloads and clearly hold many advantages in terms of raw performance and bandwidth, but these advantages are not necessarily unassailable.
He goes on to say that processor architectures are undergoing rapid evolution (especially with regard to DP capability in GPUs) so this snapshot may not be worth much a year from now. Useful analysis nonetheless.
May 16, 2013 |
When it comes to cloud, long distances mean unacceptably high latencies. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany examined those latency issues of doing CFD modeling in the cloud by utilizing a common CFD and its utilization in HPC instance types including both CPU and GPU cores of Amazon EC2.
May 15, 2013 |
Supercomputers at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have worked on important computational problems such as collapse of the atomic state, the optimization of chemical catalysts, and now modeling popping bubbles.
May 10, 2013 |
Program provides cash awards up to $10,000 for the best open-source end-user applications deployed on 100G network.
May 09, 2013 |
The Japanese government has revealed its plans to best its previous K Computer efforts with what they hope will be the first exascale system...
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
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.
In this demonstration of SGI DMF ZeroWatt disk solution, Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI CTO, discusses a function of SGI DMF software to reduce costs and power consumption in an exascale (Big Data) storage datacenter.
The Cray CS300-AC cluster supercomputer offers energy efficient, air-cooled design based on modular, industry-standard platforms featuring the latest processor and network technologies and a wide range of datacenter cooling requirements.