After two weeks of HPCwire issues so chock-a-block with articles that there wasn’t any room for the Week In Review, we’re back! 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
SGI teams up with NBA, renders Space Chimps;
On MDGrape-3: more than a PFLOPS for molecular dynamics;
Ranking F1 rankings against HPC power in the teams;
U of Utah demonstrates step toward computing with tetrahertz radiation;
IBM and Intel report profits up and down for Q1;
>>HPC pain slows adoption in the industry
The Council on Competitiveness and IDC released two new studies on HPC adoption this week (release and pointers at http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/2286436.html).
Some of the findings:
Most (57 percent) of the 77 surveyed firms have important problems they cannot solve with desktop computers.
As a group, these companies face three major barriers to HPC adoption: uncertainty about the availability of software that will run their applications on HPC servers, lack of people skilled in using HPC hardware and software systems, and cost constraints associated with moving to HPC.
22 of the surveyed firms (29 percent) said they are willing to pay an outside organization to help them understand HPC and how it can lead to superior, better-selling products.
Looks like a business opportunity to me, and another argument in favor of hosted HPC services. You download the studies from the Council’s spiffy new Web site http://www.compete.org/publications/detail/420/reveal/ and http://www.compete.org/publications/detail/421/reflect/.
>>More vendors pick up Barcelona
Vendors continued last week’s train of announcements heralding the introduction of AMD’s delayed quad-core Opterons into their product lines. Sun announced on its corporate blog that the new chip would ship wrapped up in Sun Fire X4140 and X4440 boxes, both servers aimed at small and medium businesses. The X4140 is the 1U server that Sun is also targeting for HPC deployment. The X4440 puts four quadcore sockets in a 2U form factor.
AMD also announced this week where the quad-core processors will sit in Dell’s family tree, with five new servers featuring the chips including PowerEdge, blade, and tower systems.
>>Win CCS at Callaway Golf
Microsoft was talking about this in June of last year, but to coincide with the Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta this year, they’ve just released an HPC case study on Callaway Golf, makers of fine golf gear for duffers the world over.
I’m a sucker for “ordinary stuff meets HPC” stories. Here’s the lead from MS:
When the Linux-based high-performance computing (HPC) cluster in use at Callaway Golf reached the end of its useful life, the company began looking for a replacement solution. Callaway Golf switched to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 running on HP hardware because the solution offered several advantages over one based on Linux, including lower overall costs, improved ease of use, and greater manageability. The company’s new HPC cluster is delivering an eightfold increase in performance, helping make engineers far more productive and enhancing their ability to deliver innovative, high-quality products.
It’s small by HPC standards, but the story is still interesting. Full case study at http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000001756.