The Week in Review

By John E. West

September 21, 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

High-level .NET libraries for data-parallel computation;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/17/parallelfx-high-level-net-libraries-for-data-parallel-computation/

NEC and Sun join forces on HPC services;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/17/nec-sun-partnership/

IDF: Harpertown due November 12;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/18/harpertown-due-november-12/

IDF: Nehalem – 16 threads and QPI;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/18/nehalem-16-threads-and-qpi/

HPC companies working hard to win Wall Street’s continued love;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/19/companies-working-hard-to-win-wall-streets-continued-love/

World Community Grid runs world’s largest anti-virus program;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/18/world-community-grid-runs-worlds-largest-anti-virus-program/

SDSC Pegs Astrophysicist Norman to Bring in NSF Track 2c;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/17/sdsc-pegs-astrophysicist-norman-to-bring-in-nsf-track-2c/

PSC announces Executive Director;
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/17/psc-announces-executive-director/

>>PNNL to install Cray XMT

Cray announced this week (http://investors.cray.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=98390&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1053229&highlight=) that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has taken delivery of the first Cray XMT supercomputer (or at least the first publicly admitted one).

The XMT processors can execute 128 threads in hardware, which makes the system ideal for many data intensive computing applications. The XMT is a follow on to Cray’s previous MTA systems, of which only a few were ever sold.

>>Intel Gets Cozy With FPGAs

Not to be left out of the FPGA acceleration party, Intel has teamed up with Altera and XtremeData to deliver a Xeon-friendly version of FPGA coprocessing. The XD2000i module consists of three Stratix III FGPAs hooked onto Intel’s front side bus (FSB). From the Altera press release (http://www.altera.com/corporate/news_room/releases/products/nr-altxdatafsb.html?f=hp&k=wn3):

“With today’s release of the XD2000i, it’s an exciting time for the industry,” said Ravi Chandran, CEO of XtremeData. “Using Altera’s Stratix III FPGA, the XD2000i delivers up to five times the logic capacity of previous generations of ISAs. Additionally, it offers unparalleled double-precision floating performance per watt, the key benchmark requested by our customers in high-performance computing and financial analytics.”

Nallatech and Mitrionics have also announced an FPGA-FSB solution, in this case, with Xilinx hardware. The press release is at http://www.mitrionics.com/default.asp?pid=6&iid=54.

These are the first instances of FPGA coprocessing for an Intel platform. XtremeData as well as DRC Computer Corp. and Celoxica have similar offerings for AMD’s HyperTransport technology.

>>AMD’s tri-core processor

The Inquirer has a story on AMD’s reported tri-core processor (http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=42369). Seems like this is NOT just a salvage strategy:

AMD is probably doing this for two reasons; the lesser being salvage, the more important one being that Intel can’t do it. Intel would have a far harder time making a tri-core part until Nehalem next September — it is easy to fuse off a core, far harder to MCM disparate cores.

The Inquirer goes on to say that Hector (Ruiz) and the rest of the AMD boys are learning a thing or two from the ATI crowd:

…it seems AMD is learning from ATI. Most non-top SKU GPUs are simply top SKU die with features turned off, and if you look at the success of people unlocking that, you will see that it is far more than salvage.

>>New Opterons not very powerful. Enough for some?

Last week, TechReport.com released the first thorough review of AMD’s Barcelona two-way quad-core CPUs (http://techreport.com/articles.x/13176), including a comparison with Intel’s Clovertown chips. In terms of absolute performance, they conclude:

Barcelona’s gains in performance per clock aren’t quite what we expected, especially in floating-point-intensive applications like 3D rendering, where it looks for all the world like a quad-core K8. As a result, Barcelona is sometimes faster, sometimes slower, and oftentimes the equal of Intel’s Core microarchitecture, MHz for MHz.

That’s bad news for AMD, considering 1) the current top clock-speed option is 2/3 of Intel’s, and 2) they’re more than a year behind Intel in manufacturing technology (Intel’s 45nm Penryn quad-core chips are just around the corner). However:

…power-efficient performance is the new key to processors, especially in the server space. By that standard, AMD now has the lead. By any measure — and we have several, including idle power, peak power, and a couple of energy use metrics — the quad-core Opterons trump Intel’s quad-core Xeons.

The Xeon platform’s FB-DIMM memory consumption seems to be the major factor holding it back compared to Barcelona, as well as Xeon’s comparatively high power drain at idle. Any way you look at the findings, it should be nice as a consumer to know that the CPU market remains highly competitive.

—–

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!

Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

May 23, 2017

President Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spend Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Hedge Funds (with Supercomputing help) Rank First Among Investors

May 22, 2017

In case you didn’t know, The Quants Run Wall Street Now, or so says a headline in today’s Wall Street Journal. Quant-run hedge funds now control the largest Read more…

By John Russell

IBM, D-Wave Report Quantum Computing Advances

May 18, 2017

IBM said this week it has built and tested a pair of quantum computing processors, including a prototype of a commercial version. That progress follows an an Read more…

By George Leopold

PRACEdays 2017 Wraps Up in Barcelona

May 18, 2017

Barcelona has been absolutely lovely; the weather, the food, the people. I am, sadly, finishing my last day at PRACEdays 2017 with two sessions: an in-depth loo Read more…

By Kim McMahon

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Exploring the Three Models of Remote Visualization

The explosion of data and advancement of digital technologies are dramatically changing the way many companies do business. With the help of high performance computing (HPC) solutions and data analytics platforms, manufacturers are developing products faster, healthcare providers are improving patient care, and energy companies are improving planning, exploration, and production. Read more…

US, Europe, Japan Deepen Research Computing Partnership

May 18, 2017

On May 17, 2017, a ceremony was held during the PRACEdays 2017 conference in Barcelona to announce the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PRACE in Europe Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NSF, IARPA, and SRC Push into “Semiconductor Synthetic Biology” Computing

May 18, 2017

Research into how biological systems might be fashioned into computational technology has a long history with various DNA-based computing approaches explored. N Read more…

By John Russell

DOE’s HPC4Mfg Leads to Paper Manufacturing Improvement

May 17, 2017

Papermaking ranks third behind only petroleum refining and chemical production in terms of energy consumption. Recently, simulations made possible by the U.S. D Read more…

By John Russell

PRACEdays 2017: The start of a beautiful week in Barcelona

May 17, 2017

Touching down in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, it was warm, sunny, and oh so Spanish. I was greeted at my hotel with a glass of Cava to sip and treated to a Read more…

By Kim McMahon

Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

May 23, 2017

President Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spend Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Offers Supercomputing as a Service, Targets Biotechs First

May 16, 2017

Leading supercomputer vendor Cray and datacenter/cloud provider the Markley Group today announced plans to jointly deliver supercomputing as a service. The init Read more…

By John Russell

HPE’s Memory-centric The Machine Coming into View, Opens ARMs to 3rd-party Developers

May 16, 2017

Announced three years ago, HPE’s The Machine is said to be the largest R&D program in the venerable company’s history, one that could be progressing tow Read more…

By Doug Black

What’s Up with Hyperion as It Transitions From IDC?

May 15, 2017

If you’re wondering what’s happening with Hyperion Research – formerly the IDC HPC group – apparently you are not alone, says Steve Conway, now senior V Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Launches Servers, Services, and Collaboration at GTC

May 10, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today launched a new liquid cooled GPU-driven Apollo platform based on SGI ICE architecture, a new collaboration with NVIDIA, a Read more…

By John Russell

IBM PowerAI Tools Aim to Ease Deep Learning Data Prep, Shorten Training 

May 10, 2017

A new set of GPU-powered AI software announced by IBM today brings automation to many of the tedious, time consuming and complex aspects of AI project on-rampin Read more…

By Doug Black

Bright Computing 8.0 Adds Azure, Expands Machine Learning Support

May 9, 2017

Bright Computing, long a prominent provider of cluster management tools for HPC, today released version 8.0 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack. The Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Last week, Google reported that its custom ASIC Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) was 15-30x faster for inferencing workloads than Nvidia's K80 GPU (see our coverage Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

Since our first formal product releases of OSPRay and OpenSWR libraries in 2016, CPU-based Software Defined Visualization (SDVis) has achieved wide-spread adopt Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a ne Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which w Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling Read more…

By Steve Campbell

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Eng Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular Read more…

By John Russell

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

As China continues to prove its supercomputing mettle via the Top500 list and the forward march of its ambitious plans to stand up an exascale machine by 2020, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu's Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural networ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of "quantum supremacy," researchers are stretching the limits of today's most advance Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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