HPCwire Exascale Edition


Thomas Sterling, Ph.D

Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University, a Faculty Associate at California Institute of Technology, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Bill Gropp, Ph.D

Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illionois Urbana-Champaign

The HPCwire Exascale Edition reports to the HPC community on advances contributing to progress towards exascale computing to achieve partical trans-exaflops performance regime. Managed by luminary guest editors, Thomas Sterling and Bill Gropp, this section intends to serve as a medium for conveying persepctives and opinions on issues of technology, applications, and policies driving directions from leaders in the field.

Top Exascale Feature

Altera Stratix

ORNL Researchers Create Framework for Easier, Effective FPGA Programming

Programmability and portability problems have long inhibited broader use of FPGA technology. FPGAs are already widely and effectively used in many dedicated applications (accelerated packet processing, for example), but generally not in situations that require ‘reconfiguring’ the FPGA to accommodate different applications. A group of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory is hoping to change that. Presenting at the 30th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS) being held this week in Chicago, the group will discuss their work. Read more…

More Exascale News & Commentary


Weekly Twitter Roundup

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. The tweets that caught our eye this past week are presented below. Check back in next Thursday for an entirely updated list.


Intel Weighs In on NSCI

For the last 60 years, high-performance computing (HPC) has been instrumental in chipping away at the world’s toughest challenges such as disease control, climate research, and energy efficiency. Organizations in many industries, including oil and gas, financial services, pharmaceutical, and life sciences, as well as in academia and government, have drawn on this technology to make scientific advances, create innovation, and understand complex data. Because the cost of designing and building new generations of HPC systems is high, the US Government has always been involved—in close collaboration with industry—as a major funding source, as well as a major HPC user. Read more…


National Academy Offers Guidance to NSF on Advanced Computing Priorities

Yet another major policy report on national high performance computing – Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020 – was released today. This one is from National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and commissioned by National Science Foundation (NSF). To a significant extent it echoes themes in the National Strategic Computing Initiative but focused more tightly on scientific endeavor. Read more…

Depei Qian ASC16 292x

China Sets Ambitious Goal to Reach Exascale by 2020

At the 12th HPC Connections Workshop in Wuhan, China, Beihang University Professor Depei Qian disclosed new information regarding HPC development in China and exascale plans that are shaping up under China’s 13th five-year plan (2016-2020). Since 1996 Professor Professor Qian has served on the expert committee for the National High-tech Research & Development Program (the 863 program). Currently, he is the chief scientist of the 863 key project on high productivity computer and application service environment. Read more…

ITIF report April 2016 feature graphic 800x

ITIF Report Aims to Sway Congress, Promote National HPC Agenda

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington D.C. think tank with close ties to the Office of Science and Technology Policy and government broadly, today released an expansive report – The Vital Importance of High- Performance Computing to U.S. Competitiveness – and also held a panel to discuss the report’s recommendation. Noteworthy, many of the panelists are familiar names in the HPC community. Read more…
National Strategic Computing Initiative (NCSI)

NSCI Discussion at HPC User Forum Shows Hunger for Details

Is the National Strategic Computing Initiative in trouble? Launched by Presidential Executive Order last July, there are still few public details of the draft implementation plan, which was delivered to the NSCI Executive Council back in October. Last week on the final day of the HPC User Forum being held in Tucson, Saul Gonzalez Martirena (OSTP, NSF) gave an NSCI update talk that contained, really, no new information from what was presented at SC15. Read more…

This numerical simulation of combustion in a helicopter turbo-engine for Turbomeca is an example of the HPC support CCRT offers for industry partners.

France to Boost Industrial Innovation with New Petascale Supercomputer

This summer, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and 13 leading French industrial companies will boost their research capabilities when they take possession of a new shared supercomputer called COBALT, designed... Read more…
Performance Speed

Compilers and More: What Makes Performance Portable?

The term performance portability has appeared many times in the past few years. What does it mean? When did we first start worrying about performance portability? Why is it more relevant now than before? Why are so many discussions about performance portability so depressing? Is there any hope? Michael Wolfe addresses these questions and more in this article. Read more…
Piz Daint

Europe’s Fastest Supercomputer to Get Pascal GPU Upgrade

Already Europe’s fastest supercomputer at 7.8 petaflops, the Piz Daint (hybrid CPU/GPU Cray XC30) at the Swiss National Computing Center (CSCS) will double its performance with a massive upgrade that involves switching to NVIDIA’s newest Pascal GPU architecture and merging with Piz Dora (Cray XC40), a smaller CPU-based machine. The announcement was made at GTC16... Read more…
White House Capitol building silhouette shutterstock_115131094-500x

Seagate, USCAS Urge Congress to Fully Fund FY17 Supercomputing Budget

Given divided government and the election year, the U.S. FY17 budget discussions are likely to be more contentious than usual. Seagate tweeted yesterday that it and fellow industry members of the U.S. Coalition for the Advancement of Supercomputing (USCAS) had submitted a statement to Congress “advocating for full funding of the Department of Energy’s fiscal year 2017 budget request for supercomputing.”

The statement was submitted Wednesday to Chairman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), and other members of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. Read more…