Advances in data-intensive supercomputing increase understanding of autism and related disorders, set the stage for future treatments.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/digital_time_tunnel_small.jpg” alt=”” width=”95″ height=”95″ />In the world of high performance computing, a lot of the important news this year revolved around heterogeneous computing, big data, and HPC interconnects. Two vendors that perhaps embodied those technologies more so than others were Cray and Intel, both of which figured prominently in some of the biggest HPC stories in 2012. Here are HPCwire’s highlights and lowlights for the year.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/cray_appro_small.JPG” alt=”” width=”96″ height=”69″ />Supercomputer-maker Cray has announced it intends to buy Appro International, a privately held HPC cluster vendor. Cray is paying about $25 million for Appro, and will get at least $3.5 million in working capital from the cluster-maker. News of the deal boosted Cray’s stock price, which jumped 10 percent on Friday.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/Appro_RackCDU.jpg” alt=”” width=”70″ height=”90″ />Air-cooled servers may soon go the way of the single-core CPU. In high performance computing datacenters, the hottest new trend in energy efficiency is warm water cooling. IBM, Eurotech, and a handful of other vendors have paved the way with this technology and now Appro has entered the fray with its own solution.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/Intel-Corp_small.jpg” alt=”” width=”90″ height=”65″ />Intel Corp. has launched three new families of Xeon processors, joining the Xeon E5-2600 series the chipmaker introduced in March. These latest chips span the entire market for the Xeon line, from four- and two-socket servers, down to entry-level workstations and microservers. A number of HPC server makers, including SGI, Dell, and Appro announced updated hardware based on the new silicon.
The recent growth of the HPC market, powered almost exclusively by the adoption of Linux clusters, has been dramatic. But the expanding complexity of technical clusters that is the dominant species of many HPC systems can have a diminishing effect if it is not effectively addressed. A major cause of cluster complexity is proliferating hardware parallelism with systems averaging thousands of processors, each of them a multi-core chip whose core count can double every other year. Add to this trend the additional issues of third-party software costs, the difficulty of scaling many applications and cluster management complexity quickly begins to augment.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/tsukuba_HA_PACS_small.jpg” alt=”” width=”123″ height=”64″ />Japan’s newest supercomputer, an 802-teraflop GPU-accelerated Appro cluster, went into production last week at the University of Tsukuba, just north of Tokyo. The machine represents the lynchpin of the university’s HA-PACS project, a three-year effort that will attempt to push the envelope on GPU-pumped supercomputing.
Gordon, the largest flash memory-based computer on the planet, was officially launched at a ceremony that took place on Monday at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). Two years in the making, and backed by a $20 million Track 2 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Gordon represents the first really big purpose-built supercomputer for data-intensive applications.
Now that the new AMD “Interlagos” Opterons and Intel “Sandy Bridge” EP Xeons have begun shipping, at least for volume deployments, Appro has announced support for the latest x86 CPUs in its upgraded Xtreme-X HPC line-up. The new systems will soon be appearing in supercomputing centers in the US and elsewhere.
In the volatile high performance computing (HPC) market, vendor longevity is quite rare. However, Appro has not only endured, but continues to introduce innovative solutions. One of the company’s strengths is that while some vendors flashed into and out of existence by offering rigid solutions exclusively for the highest end of the market, Appro has tried to appeal to the medium to large-scale HPC market with a variety of workload configuration requirements.