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 john@insidehpc.com.

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