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Compilers and More: Is Amdahl’s Law Still Relevant?

Jan 22, 2015 |

From time to time, you will read an article or hear a presentation that states that some new architectural feature or some new programming strategy will let you work around the limits imposed by Amdahl’s Law. I think it’s time to finally shut down the discussion of Amdahl’s Law. Here I argue that the premise Read more…

Helping Experimental Scientists Take Supercomputers to the Max

Dec 30, 2014 |

Doug Baxter is a capability lead for the Molecular Science Computing Facility in the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He and his team are responsible for the software side of the operation, and they help experimental scientists get the most out of EMSL’s supercomputing resources. The facility is the home Read more…

Combustion Simulation in the Exascale Era

Nov 13, 2014 |

One of the many excellent sessions at SC14 will address how the twin technologies of HPC and big data are coalescing to enable major scientific breakthroughs in the field of turbulent combustion. As part of the SC14 Technical Program, Jacqueline H. Chen, a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories, Read more…

The Exascale Revolution

Oct 23, 2014 |

The post-petascale era is marked by systems with far greater parallelism and architectural complexity. Failing some game-changing innovation, crossing the next 1000x performance barrier will be more challenging than previous efforts. At the 2014 Argonne National Laboratory Training Program on Extreme Scale Computing (ATPESC), held in August, Professor Pete Beckman delivered a talk on “Exascale Architecture Trends” and their impact on the programming and executing of computational Read more…

New Degrees of Parallelism, Old Programming Planes

Aug 28, 2014 |

Exploiting the capabilities of HPC hardware is now more a matter of pushing into deeper levels of parallelism versus adding more cores or overclocking. What this means is that the time is right for a revolution in programming. The question is whether that revolution should be one that torches the landscape or that handles things Read more…

Short Takes

Deconstructing Moore’s Law’s Limits

Aug 18, 2014 |

For the past five decades, computers have progressed on a predictable trajectory, doubling in speed roughly every two years in tune with Gordon Moore’s oft-cited observation-turned-prophecy. Although semiconductor scaling continues to yield performance gains, many perceive a tipping point is nigh, where the cost-benefit analysis of further miniaturization breaks down. The latest researcher to weigh Read more…

Parallel Programming with OpenMP

Jul 31, 2014 |

One of the most important tools in the HPC programmer’s toolbox is OpenMP, a standard for expressing shared memory parallelism that was published in 1997. The current release, version 4.0, came out last November. In a recent video, Oracle’s OpenMP committee representative Nawal Copty explores some of the tool’s features and common pitfalls. Copty explains Read more…

Building Parallel Code with Hybrid Fortran

Jul 31, 2014 |

Over at the Typhoon Computing blog, Michel Müller addresses a topic that is top of mind to many HPC programmers: porting code to accelerators. Fortran programmers porting their code to GPGPUs (general purpose graphics processing units) have a new tool at their disposal, called Hybrid Fortran. Müller shows how this open source framework can enhance portability without sacrificing performance and maintainability. From the blog (editor’s note: the site Read more…

The Portability Mandate

Jul 24, 2014 |

Argonne National Laboratory recently published several sessions from its Summer 2013 Extreme-Scale Computing program to YouTube. One of these is a lesson on combining performance and portability presented by Argonne Assistant Computational Scientist Jeff Hammond. For some reason the video image does not match the lecture, but you will find a link to Hammond’s slide deck here. Read more…

Parallel Computing Trends

Jul 22, 2014 |

One of the most pressing issues faced by the HPC community is how to go about attracting and training the next generation of HPC users. The staff at Argonne National Laboratory is tackling this challenge head on by holding an intensive summer school in extreme-scale computing. One of the highlights of the 2013 summer program was a Read more…

Off the Wire