The Week in Review

By John E. West

August 10, 2007

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from this week’s HPC news stream as reported at insideHPC.com and HPCwire.

>>10 words and a link

The Scouts get into HPC, new badge in works?;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/06/getting-the-scouts-into-hpc/

Mercury Computer Systems releases PS3 SDK;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/06/mercury-releases-ps3-sdk/

ANSYS used by ITER in building first fusion facility;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/07/ansys-to-be-used-by-iter-in-building-first-fusion-facility/

NVIDIA announces new GPU server;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/07/nvidia-announces-new-gpu-server/

Chelsio and Woven demonstrate 10GbE RDMA solution at Sandia;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/08/chelsio-and-woven-demonstrate-10gbe-rdma-solution-at-sandia/

COMPETES Act makes HPC R&D Act provisions law;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/09/competes-act-makes-hpc-rd-act-provisions-law-today/

The Portland Group announces development tools target quad-core Opterons;
http://www.pgroup.com/about/news.htm#26

>>NSF Announces giant and huge supercomputers

NSF has formalized the announcements that were leaked on the internet last week and reported in the New York Times (http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/07/nsf-petascale-story-in-the-nyt/).

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will get $208 million over the next 4.5 years to build a petascale machine named “Blue Waters.” The vendor wasn’t announced in the release but the name might offer a hint that confirms IBM as reported in the NYT piece.

And the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Joint Institute for Computational Science (JICS) will get $65 million over 5 years to build the Track 2 machine. The UT project includes partners at Oak Ridge (as was rumored), as well as TACC and NCAR.

No official word at this time from NSF or the awardees on what machines are proposed.

>>IBM packs up running apps and moves them around

IBM has started talking about its new Live Partition Mobility technology, now in beta. From their release (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22005.wss):

Live Partition Mobility, currently in beta testing with general availability planned later this year, is a continuous availability feature that will enable POWER6-based servers, such as the System p 570, to move live logical partitions — including the entire operating system and all its running applications — from one server to another while the systems are running.

This sounds similar to the functionality that Evergrid is currently working on, some of which is deployed. While I believe that neither offering requires users to change their codes, the IBM solution is supported in hardware.

Because Live Partition Mobility is implemented in the POWER6 chip, hardware and its associated firmware, the feature is operating system independent, allowing the movement of AIX or Linux operating systems and associated running workloads. For instance, using Live Partition Mobility customers will be able to dynamically consolidate UNIX or Linux workloads — without interruption — onto fewer servers during off-peak times, allowing them to turn off computers and save energy.

The company is talking about this functionality in terms of business apps, of course, but HPC centers could use it to juggle load among machines for better balance, or to make room for high priority applications.

>>Sun launches “world’s fastest commodity microprocessor,” at 1.4 GHz

Sun is basing that claim on SPEC performance, not clock speed. They are talking, of course, about the UltraSparc T2, formerly known as the Niagara II chip. The chip has 8 cores (the same as the Niagara I), but now has 8 threads per core and a floating point unit with each core (instead of 4 threads per core and 1 FPU per chip). The chip is designed to kick virtualization butt.

The DailyTech has a good, quick overview at http://www.dailytech.com/Sun+Announces+New+UltraSPARC+T2+as+Worlds+Fastest+Microprocessor/article8340.htm.

Interestingly, Sun is going to open source the thing:

Having surpassed 5,500 downloads of the OpenSPARC T1 source code, Sun is working to release source code for the UltraSPARC T2 processor to the OpenSPARC community at www.opensparc.net.

>>The Green Grid announces strategy, timelines

The Green Grid yesterday released details of its near term plans. After getting started just six months ago, the group has come a long way, putting together a solid technical strategy and the core teams necessary to get the job done.

At a press event before the release yesterday, the group reiterated its bottom up focus (partly in response to questions about criticisms from the Gartner Group): start with the data center now, where they feel they can make a near-term impact and get their hands around the problem, and work out to larger issues over the long term when there is a contribution to be made.

The group seems very focused on practical steps, which is refreshing and to my mind indicates that they might actually accomplish what they’re setting out to get done. I’ve outlined their strategy along with the initial deliverable schedule at http://insidehpc.com/2007/08/08/the-green-grid-announces-strategy/. The schedule is ambitious: the group plans to deliver nine major documents between now and the end of the year.

—–

John West summarizes the headlines in HPC news every day at insideHPC.com. You can contact him at john@insidehpc.com. Too busy to keep up? Make your commute productive and subscribe to the Weekly Takeout, insideHPC.com’s weekly podcast summary of the HPC news week in review.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together about 30 participants from industry, government and academia t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Researchers Scale COSMO Climate Code to 4888 GPUs on Piz Daint

October 17, 2017

Effective global climate simulation, sorely needed to anticipate and cope with global warming, has long been computationally challenging. Two of the major obstacles are the needed resolution and prolonged time to compute Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Transforming Genomic Analytics with HPC-Accelerated Insights

Advancements in the field of genomics are revolutionizing our understanding of human biology, rapidly accelerating the discovery and treatment of genetic diseases, and dramatically improving human health. Read more…

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Cluster Competition coverage has come to its natural home: H Read more…

By Dan Olds

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST

October 10, 2017

Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Intel Debuts Programmable Acceleration Card

October 5, 2017

With a view toward supporting complex, data-intensive applications, such as AI inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and genomics, Intel i Read more…

By Doug Black

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center

August 17, 2017

A collaboration between the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Intel and five Intel Parallel Computing Cente Read more…

By Linda Barney

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This