HPCwire Exascale Edition
Sponsored by Cray

Editors

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

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White House Launches National HPC Strategy

Yesterday’s executive order by President Barack Obama creating a National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) is not only powerful acknowledgment of the vital role HPC plays in modern society but is also indicative of government’s mounting worry that failure to coordinate and nourish HPC development on a broader scale would put the nation at risk. Not surprisingly, early reaction from the HPC community has been largely positive. “My first reaction is that this is a long needed Read more…

More Exascale News & Commentary

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AMD’s Exascale Strategy Hinges on Heterogeneity

In a recent IEEE Micro article, a team of engineers and computers scientists from chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) detail AMD’s vision for exascale computing, which in its most essential form combines CPU-GPU integration with hardware and software support to facilitate the running of scientific workloads on exascale-class systems.

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DOE Exascale Plan Gets Support with Caveats

The DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) plan to develop and deploy exascale technology by 2023 received strong backing yesterday from an Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) sub-committee but with caveats in the form of seven recommendations for strengthening management of the Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI). Subcommittee chair, Dan Reed, vice president for research and economic Read more…
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Tackling Power and Resilience at Exascale

Although the utility of FLOPS-driven benchmarks can make for interesting debate, the fact remains that major supercomputing milestones, like 1,000X performance advances, are integral to scientific discovery and also serve to drive interest and investment in the HPC ecosystem at large. The boon of accelerators helped propel HPC past the petascale marker in 2008, but fielding an exaflops-class machine has been a little trickier. While a diminished Moore's law is partly to blame, the role Read more…
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China Scores Fifth TOP500 Win with Tianhe-2

When China grabbed the TOP500 crown for its Tianhe-2 supercomputer in June 2013 with double the peak FLOPS of the next fastest machine (Titan at Oak Ridge National Laboratory), could anyone have foreseen that the machine would still hold on to the top spot a full two years later? As we can see from the 45th edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 list, which was published Monday in tandem with the 2015 International Read more…
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Filippo Mantovani on What’s Next for Mont-Blanc and ARM

Firing up the Mont-Blanc prototype in mid-June at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) was a significant milestone in the European effort to base HPC systems on energy efficient architecture. Mont-Blanc program coordinator Filippo Mantovani was quoted in the release announcing the prototype saying, “Now the challenge starts because with this platform we can Read more…
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Weekly Twitter Roundup

Here at HPCwire, we want to help keep the HPC community as up-to-date as possible on some of the most captivating news items that were tweeted throughout the week. The tweets that caught our eye this past week are listed below. Check back in next Thursday for an entirely updated Read more…
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The Necessary Marriage of Big Data with Exascale

Failure to incorporate big data computing insights into efforts to achieve exascale computing would be a critical mistake argue Daniel Reed and Jack Dongarra in their article, Exascale Computing and Big Data, published in the July issue of the Communications of the ACM journal. While scientific and big data computing have historically taken different development paths, the distinct problems they tackled are converging and lessons from both will be needed. “Just a few years ago, the very Read more…
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Altair’s Bill Nitzberg Sums Up Four Decades of HPC

In a recent blog post, HPC community member and CTO of PBS Works at Altair Engineering, Inc. Dr. Bill Nitzberg, traces the recent history of computing from 1980 through the end of the present decade, to illustrate the trends that best characterize the coming exascale era. The four decades are depicted in a slide broken down by systems, data and business trajectories with circles around the areas most relevant to the needs of exaflops-class systems: Read more…
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Senate and House America COMPETES Bills Face Off

Few dispute the importance of research and advanced computing technology to American competitiveness, but there is disagreement about the role of the government in funding such efforts. Currently two bills are making their way through the legislative process as potential successors to the America COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010 (which were passed by President George W. Bush and President Obama respectively). They are briefly summarized as follows: The House version, H.R. 1806: America Read more…
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Four Challenges Facing Exascale Application Prep

Worry over readying HPC applications for exascale computing isn’t new and various efforts are underway. Whether they are sufficient is a matter of debate. A major stumbling block, of course, is no one knows precisely what exascale architecture will look like. A recent paper (June 9) on arXiv.org from IBM Research and several European academic researchers proposes an approach for tackling the problem. The paper, Challenges and Recommendations for Preparing HPC Applications for Read more…