NVIDIA Keeps It Interesting

By Michael Feldman

July 24, 2008

Planting CUDA Seeds

NVIDIA is continuing to push hard on CUDA, the company’s C-based software environment for GPU computing. With last month’s announcement of the first CUDA Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NVIDIA said it donated half a million dollars to the school.

The announcement also noted that “[u]niversities wishing to become CUDA Centers of Excellence must teach a CUDA class and use CUDA technology in their research, usually across several labs. In return, NVIDIA supports the school through funding and equipment donations, including help to set up a GPU computing cluster.” This is the same general idea behind the Sony, Toshiba and IBM (STI) Center of Competence program for Cell technology. The STI Center was established at Georgia Tech last year. Can a Larrabee Center of Distinction be far behind?

Big Time Protein Folding

On the hardware side, even NVIDIA’s non-Tesla gear is starting to show up in HPC applications. On Thursday, the company announced the big impact that the GeForce GPUs are having on Stanford’s [email protected] project. The project aggregates donated computer cycles on desktop systems to calculate how different types of proteins fold. The idea is to help understand protein behavior as it relates to cancer, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

Powered by CUDA-enabled software, the GeForce GPUs are doing yeoman’s work for the folders. According to a recent ExtremeTech report, there are currently over 7,000 GPUs running the [email protected] program, yielding around 840 teraflops of application performance. The article goes on to say:

That’s somewhere around 110 gigaflops per GPU, on average. To put that in perspective, the regular windows CPU client is about one gigaflop per client (it’s a mix of the single-threaded client and the multi-core SMP version). The PS3 looks like it leads the pack with a total of 1,358 teraflops, but that’s from over 48,000 active PS3s. Each PS3 is actually delivering about 28 gigaflops apiece.

Those are all 32-bit floating point performance numbers, but if you can cure cancer with single precision, that’s fine with me.

Argonne’s Blue Gene/P Gets a Visual Buddy

On Wednesday, Argonne National Laboratory announced its plans to add a NVIDIA Quadro-based data analytics/visualization system to pair up with its Blue Gene/P supercomputer. The visualization system, named Eureka, will turn the torrents of data produced by applications running on Blue Gene into pretty pictures that make sense to mere mortals.

Apparently, 208 NVIDIA Quadro GPUs will be used to construct the system, which is being built by GraphStream, Inc. The hardware will consist of four racks of 1U boxes, with each box containing four Quadro graphics cards. According to a Dr. Dobbs article, the Eureka server building block is the SuperMicro 6015-UR. Each GPU box is hooked to two SuperMicro servers so that each compute server drives two GPUs. Visualization is driven by data that comes from a very large storage array, which is also hooked up to the Blue Gene machine.

The Manycore War of Words

Meanwhile, NVIDIA and Intel continued to spar on the GPU-Larrabee match-up. An article in Custom PC recorded Andy Keane’s reaction to Pat Gelsinger’s recent comments disparaging the CUDA technology. Keane is general manager of NVIDIA’s GPU computing group and took offense at some off-handed remarks made by the Intel exec earlier this month. Gelsinger, a senior vice president and co-general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise, started the brouhaha by claiming that GPGPU languages like NVIDIA’s CUDA will one day be nothing more than “interesting footnotes in the history of computing annals,” adding that Larrabee, Intel’s upcoming manycore processor, will be the solution that succeeds in the long term.

If you’re a self-respecting Nvidian, those are fighting words. From the article, here is the gist of Keane’s reaction:

[T]he high level of interest in CUDA “is causing Larrabee. Larrabee’s the reaction.” He then added that “these comments from Gelsinger; if we were not making a lot of headway do you think he’d even give us a moment’s notice? No. It’s because he sees a lot of this activity. The strategy is to try to position it [CUDA] as something scary and unique, and it’s really not; it’s something that’s very accessible.”

Next month, Intel may release a lot more details on Larrabee at SIGGRAPH and the Intel Developer Forum. An article published Tuesday in The Inquirer says the Larrabee developer boards are being shipped in November. If true, NVIDIA is going to have a much better idea what it’s up against real soon.

NVIDIA for Sale?

Finally, Simon Brew in UK’s IT PRO speculates whether NVIDIA could be bought out. The reasoning behind the speculation is the AMD-ATI merger, which was designed to synergize two successful technologies into a greater whole — or into a greater hole, as the case may be. Even Brew admits, “things haven’t quite gone to plan.”

His real argument is that in the long term, NVIDIA’s toughest competition will be Intel, not AMD. The implication is that the GPU vendor will have to be a lot bigger and brawnier to go up against the chip giant, especially in the expanding mobile graphics market, where Intel dominates. That’s a valid point. But so far, NVIDIA has been more nimble than Intel in the graphics arena, and it’s got a big head start at the high end of the market. I’m guessing NVIDIA figures it can still outrun the competition. We’ll see…

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!

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

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

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…

China’s Tencent Server Design Will Use AMD Rome

November 13, 2019

Tencent, the Chinese cloud giant, said it would use AMD’s newest Epyc processor in its internally-designed server. The design win adds further momentum to AMD’s bid to erode rival Intel Corp.’s dominance of the glo Read more…

By George Leopold

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

MLPerf Releases First Inference Benchmark Results; Nvidia Touts its Showing

November 6, 2019

MLPerf.org, the young AI-benchmarking consortium, today issued the first round of results for its inference test suite. Among organizations with submissions wer Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

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

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