The Week in Review

By John E. West

September 4, 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

Promise for the viability of Java in HPC;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/04/current-state-of-java-for-hpc/

Eadline on what nature can teach us regarding big clusters;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/01/what-can-nature-teach-us-about-really-big-clusters/

SGI announces Q4 results, posts continuing losses as backlog grows;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/01/sgi-announces-q4-results-posts-loss/

Six part series on managing multicore projects;
http://www.multicoreinfo.com/2008/08/managing-multi-core-projects-a-six-part-series/

Blue Waters gets green light: 200k cores, 1PB globally addressable memory;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/01/208m-blue-waters-reaches-go-stage/

NSF puts $6M in multicore research program;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/03/nsf-sponsors-multi-core-research/

Dr. Dobb’s interview with SDSC’s infrastructure director;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/01/qa-with-sdscs-infrastructure-director/

MSC in the house of Lamborghini;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/02/lamborghini-selects-msc-sim-software/

Colfax Introduces Quiet Compute Cluster;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/02/colfax-introduces-quiet-compute-cluster/

SGI providing support for Verari in EMEA;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/03/sgi-and-verari-ink-service-provider-agreement/

UT Knoxville Wins $16M Math and Biology Center;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/03/ut-knoxville-wins-16m-math-and-biology-center/

Kotura supports Sun’s DARPA-funded nanophotonics research;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/04/kotura-helping-sun-with-nanophotonics-work/

>>PRACE picks prototypes for petaflops proof

I wrote an article back in June for HPCwire that described some of the high level things going on in publicly funded HPC in Europe. In that article I talk about PRACE:

The goal of PRACE is to establish three to five European ‘tier 0’ centers, each with petascale resources, that will serve broader EU science and industrial research goals. PRACE is still very much a planning exercise, currently funded at 40M euros of what is expected to grow to an estimated 200M euro budget for operations alone.

While things are getting organized with PRACE, technical progress is being made. This week the organization announced that it has chosen six systems to evaluate as prototypes for petaflops systems to be installed in 2009 and 2010. Systems will be installed or evaluated as follows:

– BSC (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain): hybrid prototype combining IBM Cell and Power6 processors.
 
– CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission, France) and FZJ (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) jointly use Intel Nehalem/Xeon processors in their systems. Two shared-memory multiprocessors (thin node clusters) will be distributed over the two sites; a prototype produced by BULL at CEA and a larger system of the same architecture at FZJ.

– FZJ is also adding its already installed IBM BlueGene/P system for evaluation.

– CSC (The Finnish IT Center for Science, Finland) and CSCS (Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, Switzerland): Cray XT5.

– HLRS (High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, Germany): an NEC SX-9 and an x86-based cluster

– NCF (Netherlands Computing Facilities Foundation, The Netherlands): IBM Power6 architecture, a shared-memory multiprocessor
(fat node cluster).

These are mostly machines with a high degree of special purpose technology. Noticeably absent: SGI, HP and, to a lesser degree, Sun. I’m glad to see the NEC in there; we don’t see too many of those in the US.

The prototypes are going to be used to evaluate performance and scalability and “total cost of ownership” (energy costs).

They will make also possible the evaluation of software for managing the distributed infrastructure, the preparation of benchmarks for future Petascale systems allowing better understanding of user requirements, the scaling and optimisation of libraries and codes and the definition of technical requirements and procurement procedures for the PRACE Petaflop/s production systems for 2009/2010.

>>Talent bifurcation in CS?

Intel’s Michael Wrinn comments on points of view expressed by panelists at the Academic Community Multi-core Programming Roundable:

Which brings us to the recurrent theme: performance. The audience, mainly from industry, certainly picked it up; several identified themselves as hiring managers, and lamented the general ignorance of performance and architecture details. At least one of them said he prefers to interview only EE graduates — for software jobs — since CS students typically do not bring what his company needs (the industries represented here were quite varied: search engine, medical instruments, cluster consulting etc).

At the conclusion of the article, he wonders if we’re entering a talent bifurcation:

I wonder if the academic computing universe is splitting into two camps: those where students deal directly with architecture, low-level languages, concurrency, and performance, and those where students stay at a higher level of abstraction (typically expressed with Java or Python)?

>>WRF CUDA Benchmarks

John Michalakes of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has just announced the release of the latest benchmark Web sites for the Weather Research Forecast [WRF] code. In his post, he also made note of his latest page containing benchmark data from GPU-accelerated numerical weather prediction. The benchmark data comes from results compiled from a recent work published through the workshop on Large Scale Parallel Processing [LSPP] within the IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium [IPDPS] in April 2008.

The code, just recently updated by John and co., implements the WSM5 microphysics module in CUDA. On a GTX280 GPU, the module clocks in just over 64 Gflops. This compared to a measly 1.6 Gflops on a 2.4Ghz Opteron. Wowzers!

The team at NCAR is currently working on a CUDA port for a module that “computes 5th order positive definite tracer advection using finite difference approximation.” They’re also working on porting some of the radiation physics to the GPU.

For more on the GPU benchmarks, check out the WRF GPU benchmark page here.

For info on more traditional WRF benchmarks, check out the updated benchmark page here.

—–

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!

HPC Career Notes: August 2021 Edition

August 4, 2021

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ Read more…

The Promise (and Necessity) of Runtime Systems like Charm++ in Exascale Power Management

August 4, 2021

Big heterogeneous computer systems, especially forthcoming exascale computers, are power hungry and difficult to program effectively. This is, of course, not an unrecognized problem. In a recent blog, Charmworks’ CEO S Read more…

Digging into the Atos-Nimbix Deal: Big US HPC and Global Cloud Aspirations. Look out HPE?

August 2, 2021

Behind Atos’s deal announced last week to acquire HPC-cloud specialist Nimbix are ramped-up plans to penetrate the U.S. HPC market and global expansion of its HPC cloud capabilities. Nimbix will become “an Atos HPC c Read more…

Berkeley Lab Makes Strides in Autonomous Discovery to Tackle the Data Deluge

August 2, 2021

Data production is outpacing the human capacity to process said data. Whether a giant radio telescope, a new particle accelerator or lidar data from autonomous cars, the sheer scale of the data generated is increasingly Read more…

Verifying the Universe with Exascale Computers

July 30, 2021

The ExaSky project, one of the critical Earth and Space Science applications being solved by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Exascale Computing Project (ECP), is preparing to use the nation’s forthcoming exas Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Pushing pixels, not data with NICE DCV

NICE DCV, our high-performance, low-latency remote-display protocol, was originally created for scientists and engineers who ran large workloads on far-away supercomputers, but needed to visualize data without moving it. Read more…

What’s After Exascale? The Internet of Workflows Says HPE’s Nicolas Dubé

July 29, 2021

With the race to exascale computing in its final leg, it’s natural to wonder what the Post Exascale Era will look like. Nicolas Dubé, VP and chief technologist for HPE’s HPC business unit, agrees and shared his vision at Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2021 held last week. The next big thing, he told the virtual audience at SFE21, is something that will connect HPC and (broadly) all of IT – into what Dubé calls The Internet of Workflows. Read more…

Digging into the Atos-Nimbix Deal: Big US HPC and Global Cloud Aspirations. Look out HPE?

August 2, 2021

Behind Atos’s deal announced last week to acquire HPC-cloud specialist Nimbix are ramped-up plans to penetrate the U.S. HPC market and global expansion of its Read more…

What’s After Exascale? The Internet of Workflows Says HPE’s Nicolas Dubé

July 29, 2021

With the race to exascale computing in its final leg, it’s natural to wonder what the Post Exascale Era will look like. Nicolas Dubé, VP and chief technologist for HPE’s HPC business unit, agrees and shared his vision at Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2021 held last week. The next big thing, he told the virtual audience at SFE21, is something that will connect HPC and (broadly) all of IT – into what Dubé calls The Internet of Workflows. Read more…

How UK Scientists Developed Transformative, HPC-Powered Coronavirus Sequencing System

July 29, 2021

In November 2020, the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) won the HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration for its CLIMB-COVID sequencing project. Launched in March 2020, CLIMB-COVID has now resulted in the sequencing of over 675,000 coronavirus genomes – an increasingly critical task as variants like Delta threaten the tenuous prospect of a return to normalcy in much of the world. Read more…

IBM and University of Tokyo Roll Out Quantum System One in Japan

July 27, 2021

IBM and the University of Tokyo today unveiled an IBM Quantum System One as part of the IBM-Japan quantum program announced in 2019. The system is the second IB Read more…

Intel Unveils New Node Names; Sapphire Rapids Is Now an ‘Intel 7’ CPU

July 27, 2021

What's a preeminent chip company to do when its process node technology lags the competition by (roughly) one generation, but outmoded naming conventions make it seem like it's two nodes behind? For Intel, the response was to change how it refers to its nodes with the aim of better reflecting its positioning within the leadership semiconductor manufacturing space. Intel revealed its new node nomenclature, and... Read more…

Will Approximation Drive Post-Moore’s Law HPC Gains?

July 26, 2021

“Hardware-based improvements are going to get more and more difficult,” said Neil Thompson, an innovation scholar at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). “I think that’s something that this crowd will probably, actually, be already familiar with.” Thompson, speaking... Read more…

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago a Read more…

AMD Chipmaker TSMC to Use AMD Chips for Chipmaking

May 8, 2021

TSMC has tapped AMD to support its major manufacturing and R&D workloads. AMD will provide its Epyc Rome 7702P CPUs – with 64 cores operating at a base cl Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer called Dojo to process truly vast amounts of video data. It’s a beast! … A truly useful exaflop at de facto FP32.” Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system. The Rocky Linux development effort... Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Iran Gains HPC Capabilities with Launch of ‘Simorgh’ Supercomputer

May 18, 2021

Iran is said to be developing domestic supercomputing technology to advance the processing of scientific, economic, political and military data, and to strengthen the nation’s position in the age of AI and big data. On Sunday, Iran unveiled the Simorgh supercomputer, which will deliver.... Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

AMD-Xilinx Deal Gains UK, EU Approvals — China’s Decision Still Pending

July 1, 2021

AMD’s planned acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx is now in the hands of Chinese regulators after needed antitrust approvals for the $35 billion deal were receiv Read more…

GTC21: Nvidia Launches cuQuantum; Dips a Toe in Quantum Computing

April 13, 2021

Yesterday Nvidia officially dipped a toe into quantum computing with the launch of cuQuantum SDK, a development platform for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang emphasized in his keynote, Nvidia doesn’t plan to build... Read more…

Microsoft to Provide World’s Most Powerful Weather & Climate Supercomputer for UK’s Met Office

April 22, 2021

More than 14 months ago, the UK government announced plans to invest £1.2 billion ($1.56 billion) into weather and climate supercomputing, including procuremen Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

Q&A with Jim Keller, CTO of Tenstorrent, and an HPCwire Person to Watch in 2021

April 22, 2021

As part of our HPCwire Person to Watch series, we are happy to present our interview with Jim Keller, president and chief technology officer of Tenstorrent. One of the top chip architects of our time, Keller has had an impactful career. Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Senate Debate on Bill to Remake NSF – the Endless Frontier Act – Begins

May 18, 2021

The U.S. Senate today opened floor debate on the Endless Frontier Act which seeks to remake and expand the National Science Foundation by creating a technology Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire