The insideHPC Top Five Stories for 2007

By John E. West

December 21, 2007

This week we’re stepping back from our usual 7-day shot of what’s going on in the world of HPC and taking a peek at the long view. I’ve combed through the insideHPC.com archives to come up with some of the most popular themes and news items from the full year of coverage, as determined by reader page views and clicks.

First, some stats. We started publication of insideHPC.com on Dec. 28, 2006, with post one. As of this writing (early morning on Dec. 20, 2007), we have written 1,273 posts about HPC news. Our readership has grown too, from 1 (me!) on Day 1 to nearly 1,000 visitors a day in December of this year, and all from the very tightly knit world of HPC.

There are two biases in this analysis. First, about 40 percent of my traffic comes from search engines, and that has grown over the year. These referrals are to deep links in the site, and this traffic biases in favor of posts that have been around longer. insideHPC.com has a fairly high page rank, which means that we show up on the first page for lots of searches in HPC. In fact, many of the same searches for which HPCwire shows up (a good thing!).

Second, readership has built steadily throughout the year. As more and more readers turn to insideHPC for a daily swig of HPC news, the pool of potential readers and clickers grows, which biases in favor of the more recent posts.

I’ve made absolutely no attempt to correct for these biases. But, I was surprised to see posts from as recently as this month alongside posts from March show up in the site’s top content. So it may be that this summary is at least partially representative of what the HPC community thought was interesting throughout the year.

Without further ado, and with so many caveats you’re going to need an extra Barney’s bag to tote them around in, I give you:

The insideHPC Top 5 Stories for 2007

>>HP and Bull getting hitched?

As it turns out, no. At least not in 2007. But back in late July rumors were swirling that the two companies might get hitched, providing HP a native hook into the European HPC market, and a strong local service presence. The deal was thought to be worth just shy of $1B US at the time, and the story was covered in major tech news outlets across the country.

We can cross our fingers that they kept each other’s numbers in speed dial though, and that they might finally get together in 2008. I mean, Rachel and Ross got back together, right?

http://insidehpc.com/2007/07/26/rumor-hp-to-buy-bull/ (And the related news links on that page.)

>>NVIDIA’s magic cards

NVIDIA was much on the minds of our readers as the company moved to build a new market for its legendary graphics cards. They aimed at the HPC market not only with some tweaked GPUs, but they also took a page from ClearSpeed’s playbook by introducing an API (CUDA) to allow HPC users to get at all that processing power without contorting scientific algorithms into constructs better suited for textures and pixel shading.

Top NVIDIA links: http://insidehpc.com/2007/07/17/nvidia-demos-cuda-plug-in-for-matlab/, http://insidehpc.com/2007/06/21/nvidias-tesla-2-tflops-on-your-desk/

>>CFS, ZFS, Sun, and Lustre

A story that seemed to pique everyone’s interest this year points directly at a big pain point for those of us that run large HPC centers: filesystems. Sun and Cluster File Systems, a commercial provider of Lustre, started making news back in the summer when CFS announced that they would be welding Sun’s ZFS file system in as the back end for Lustre on all platforms, not just Sparcs.

Then, early in the fall, the other shoe dropped: Sun opened up its wallet and bought CFS lock, stock, and filesystem. The potential negative impact of this acquisition was large, as Lustre is a filesystem of choice for customers on just about all the major HPC platforms. Sun pledged at the time to keep Lustre available on competing platforms, and so far has kept its word.

http://insidehpc.com/2007/07/14/cfs-moves-lustre-to-zfs/
http://insidehpc.com/2007/09/12/the-sun-sets-on-cfs/

>>Google does an HPC grab and dash

Computing behemoth Google is always just on the periphery of discussions in high performance technical computing. As we plan our 20 MW power plant upgrades and scrape together $35M to buy a new system every couple years, we marvel at the scale and efficiency of what Google has managed to build. Or at least what we think Google has managed to build: the company is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to hard details on the main source of its competitive edge.

This year Google reached out and touched us directly, however, when they bought parallel code development startup PeakStream.

Everyone agrees that the coming multicore chips are not going to yield their performance gains to the standard SMP programming model, and we’re going to need new tools to make good use of supercomputers in the very near future. At the time of the acquisition, there were two companies leading the charge to develop these tools: RapidMind and PeakStream. After the acquisition, Google let it be known that it had every intention of keeping PeakStream’s IP to itself, which left us with one tool developer. Let’s hope they get it right.

http://insidehpc.com/2007/06/06/peakstream-mystery-check-googles-left-pocket/
http://insidehpc.com/2007/06/07/analysis-on-the-peakstream-google-acquisition/

>>AMD, AMD, AMD

AMD’s year can be summarized in three letters: WTF.

From plummeting stock prices to missed delivery schedules and chips that don’t work, AMD had the kind of year that hurls top management on the refuse heap of corporate America. Of course there has been plenty of this kind of luck to go around, and in years past it’s been Intel’s turn in the stockade. But this year the tables turned, and Intel seemed to do everything right even as AMD did just about everything wrong.

Most recently of course we’ve learned that AMD’s bragging throughout the year on the ill-fated Barcelona was a bad…no, really bad…idea. Originally scheduled for mid-2007, the chip wasn’t ready until near the end of the year. The delay added insult to financial injury when SPEC invalidated all Barcelona benchmark results for lack of general availability. And then, just when AMD thought it was ready to finally go forth and ship product, a nasty bug turns up in its TLB silicon, torpedoing performance and jeopardizing a key market for the company.

It remains to be seen how this bug will impact HPC. Early Cray XT4 shipments that use the chip appear to be on schedule at this time because HPC workloads appear to not stimulate the bug. I’m skeptical until I see it run in daily production, however. If I had a dollar for all the times that something that I was told “shouldn’t make any difference” grounded my HPC center, I’d be a rich man.

The AMD posts in the top 25 for 2007 are at http://insidehpc.com/2007/12/06/amd-delays-barcelona-ramp-up-to-q1-2008?referer=sphere_related_content and http://insidehpc.com/2007/12/06/more-on-amds-tlb-bug-and-damaged-honor/. But a truly excellent 2007 retrospective of AMD’s Year of Tears can be found inside HPCwire at http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1947254.html.

From all of us in the happy band of news hunters and gatherers at insideHPC.com, Merry Christmas!

—–

John West is part of the team that summarizes the headlines in HPC news every day at insideHPC.com. You can contact him at [email protected].

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!

HPE and NREL Collaborate on AI Ops to Accelerate Exascale Efficiency and Resilience

November 18, 2019

The ever-expanding complexity of high-performance computing continues to elevate the concerns posed by massive energy consumption and increasing points of failure. Now, the AI Ops collaboration between Hewlett Packard En Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Debuts New GPU – Ponte Vecchio – and Outlines Aspirations for oneAPI

November 17, 2019

Intel today revealed a few more details about its forthcoming Xe line of GPUs – the top SKU is named Ponte Vecchio and will be used in Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale computer. Intel also provided a glimpse of Read more…

By John Russell

SC19: Welcome to Denver

November 17, 2019

A significant swath of the HPC community has come to Denver for SC19, which began today (Sunday) with a rich technical program. As is customary, the ribbon cutting for the Expo Hall opening is Monday at 6:45pm, with the Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC19’s HPC Impact Showcase Chair: AI + HPC a ‘Speed Train’

November 16, 2019

This year’s chair of the HPC Impact Showcase at the SC19 conference in Denver is Lori Diachin, who has spent her career at the spearhead of HPC. Currently deputy director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Read more…

By Doug Black

Microsoft Azure Adds Graphcore’s IPU

November 15, 2019

Graphcore, the U.K. AI chip developer, is expanding collaboration with Microsoft to offer its intelligent processing units on the Azure cloud, making Microsoft the first large public cloud vendor to offer the IPU designe Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Data Management – The Key to a Successful AI Project

 

Five characteristics of an awesome AI data infrastructure

[Attend the IBM LSF & HPC User Group Meeting at SC19 in Denver on November 19!]

AI is powered by data

While neural networks seem to get all the glory, data is the unsung hero of AI projects – data lies at the heart of everything from model training to tuning to selection to validation. Read more…

At SC19: What Is UrgentHPC and Why Is It Needed?

November 14, 2019

The UrgentHPC workshop, taking place Sunday (Nov. 17) at SC19, is focused on using HPC and real-time data for urgent decision making in response to disasters such as wildfires, flooding, health emergencies, and accidents. We chat with organizer Nick Brown, research fellow at EPCC, University of Edinburgh, to learn more. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE and NREL Collaborate on AI Ops to Accelerate Exascale Efficiency and Resilience

November 18, 2019

The ever-expanding complexity of high-performance computing continues to elevate the concerns posed by massive energy consumption and increasing points of failu Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Debuts New GPU – Ponte Vecchio – and Outlines Aspirations for oneAPI

November 17, 2019

Intel today revealed a few more details about its forthcoming Xe line of GPUs – the top SKU is named Ponte Vecchio and will be used in Aurora, the first plann Read more…

By John Russell

SC19: Welcome to Denver

November 17, 2019

A significant swath of the HPC community has come to Denver for SC19, which began today (Sunday) with a rich technical program. As is customary, the ribbon cutt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC19’s HPC Impact Showcase Chair: AI + HPC a ‘Speed Train’

November 16, 2019

This year’s chair of the HPC Impact Showcase at the SC19 conference in Denver is Lori Diachin, who has spent her career at the spearhead of HPC. Currently Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing compon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel AI Summit: New ‘Keem Bay’ Edge VPU, AI Product Roadmap

November 12, 2019

At its AI Summit today in San Francisco, Intel touted a raft of AI training and inference hardware for deployments ranging from cloud to edge and designed to support organizations at various points of their AI journeys. The company revealed its Movidius Myriad Vision Processing Unit (VPU)... Read more…

By Doug Black

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quant Read more…

By John Russell

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. That’s the conclusion drawn by the scientists and researchers of Europe’s NEXTGenIO project, an initiative funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program to explore this new... Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Dell Ramps Up HPC Testing of AMD Rome Processors

October 21, 2019

Dell Technologies is wading deeper into the AMD-based systems market with a growing evaluation program for the latest Epyc (Rome) microprocessors from AMD. In a Read more…

By John Russell

Rise of NIH’s Biowulf Mirrors the Rise of Computational Biology

July 29, 2019

The story of NIH’s supercomputer Biowulf is fascinating, important, and in many ways representative of the transformation of life sciences and biomedical res Read more…

By John Russell

Xilinx vs. Intel: FPGA Market Leaders Launch Server Accelerator Cards

August 6, 2019

The two FPGA market leaders, Intel and Xilinx, both announced new accelerator cards this week designed to handle specialized, compute-intensive workloads and un Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing compon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This