The Week in Review

By HPCwire staff

June 26, 2008

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

ISC’08 sets record attendance, introduces first petascale computer;
http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/20638324.html

NASA builds 250 million pixel visualization system;
http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/21617139.html

NAL to build India’s fastest supercomputer for weather forecasts;
http://www.livemint.com/2008/06/23224534/NAL-to-build-India8217s-fas.html

UK scientific research gets a turbo-charge;
http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/21441559.html

Institute for CyberScience to expand computing power for research;
http://live.psu.edu/story/33394

R Systems unveils R Smarr Supercomputer;
http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/20880744.html

Rackable intros new extreme efficiency server solutions;
http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/20656864.html

Tesla 10 & CUDA 2.0: Technical Analysis & Performance;
http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/106

>>Sweet Sweet Supercomputing

IBM has released details of a project working with candy giant Mars Inc. and the U.S. government directed a studying the genetic code of cocoa trees. The overarching goal being to develop methods by which to safeguard the world’s chocolate supply. The group with use BlueGene, LLNL’s supercomputer, to sequence and analyze the entire cocoa genome. Apparently, political unrest and various plant diseases in Africa, home to 2/3 of the cocoa production, have driven up the prices nearly fifty percent in the past year.

“Mars is trying to improve the reliability of the cocoa supply and IBM is looking for new ways to market its Blue Gene supercomputer power,” said Lora Cecere, an analyst for AMR Research in Boston. IBM can apply the same tools to other food staples falling short of demand, such as corn, she said.

From the recent problems in Africa’s cocoa production, the market will outpace supply by 29,000 tons this season. This seems to be a sticky situation.

For more info, read the full article here.

>>Siemens and A*STAR-IHPC to Establish Joint CFD Lab

Siemens Water Technologies group and Singapore’s Institute of High Performance Computing [IHPC] have announced that they will proceed with plans to establish a joint computational fluid dynamics laboratory. IHPC, a research institute within Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research [A*STAR], has experience in modeling large multi-phase and multi-dimensional fluid dynamics problems, well suited to solving the problems of the water industry. Siemens has been working with the IHPC group over the past year to obtain more knowledge of membrane bioreactor operations [MBR]. Based on the initial collaboration, the pair will partner to establish a Joint CFD Lab at IHPC’s new facility in Fusionopolis.

“Fluid dynamics is an essential foundation for any advanced technology in water and waste water treatment,” said Dr Ruediger Knauf, Vice President R&D Siemens Water Technologies. He added, “The multiphase fluid flow, gas flow, particle distribution and the complex interactions of these parameters in the presence of heat and mass transfer are critical to performance and separation characteristics and, consequently, energy savings and low lifecycle costs for Siemens customers.”

The first set of proposed problems the group will attack include the second phase of MBR hydrodynamics study and a study for the optimization of an advanced floatation unit for oil removal.

For more info on the partnership, read the full article here.

>>HECToR Boots First Public Cray X2

Hot off the presses, the High-End Computing Terascale Resource [HECToR] at the University of Edinburgh has officially integrated the first Cray X2 blade into its XT4 system. Formerly known as the Black Widow project, these X2 blades are the first to be publicly installed in the field, a big milestone for Cray. The first few X2 blades at HECToR will be integrated into a test and development system [TDS] for trial runs by the researchers. The production X2 blades will join the 60 cabinets of XT4 already installed on the floor in Edinburgh.

What is an X2 blade? The X2 blade is the vector portion of Cray’s hybrid computing architecture, the XT5h. The XT5h is midstream through a development project partially sponsored by the DARPA Cascade program, aimed at building an adaptive supercomputing platform.

For more info on the XT5h, read the Cray product briefing here. For more info on HECToR and their XT4, head over to their Web site here.

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