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Is U.S. Falling Behind in Supercomputing and Exascale?

Jan 29, 2015 |

Few dispute the importance of supercomputing to U.S. competitiveness. The argument is around whether current government efforts – primarily through the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – are effective and sufficient or wasteful and excessive. Yesterday, a panel of HPC experts testifying at a U.S. House of Read more…

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…

Short Takes

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…

The Case for a Parallel Programming Alternative

Jul 2, 2014 |

Cray engineers have been working on a new parallel computing language, called Chapel. Aimed at large-scale parallel computing environments, Chapel was designed with a focus on productivity and accessibility. The project originated from the DARPA High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) program, which challenged HPC vendors to improve the productivity of high-end computing systems. To explain Read more…

Programmability Matters

Jun 30, 2014 |

While discussions of HPC architectures have long centered on performance gains, that is not the only measure of success, according to Petteri Laakso of Vector Fabrics. Spurred by ever-proliferating core counts, programmability is taking on new prominence. Vector Fabrics is a Netherlands-based company that specializes in multicore software parallelization tools, so programmability is high on Read more…

Off the Wire