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 [email protected].

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!

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

NCSA Industry Conference Recap – Part 1

November 13, 2019

Industry Program Director Brendan McGinty welcomed guests to the annual National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Industry Conference, October 8-10, on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana (UIUC). On Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

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 components with Intel Xeon, AMD Epyc, IBM Power, and Arm server ch 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. Read more…

By Doug Black

SIA Recognizes Robert Dennard with 2019 Noyce Award

November 12, 2019

If you don’t know what Dennard Scaling is, the chances are strong you don’t labor in electronics. Robert Dennard, longtime IBM researcher, inventor of the DRAM and the fellow for whom Dennard Scaling was named, is th Read more…

By John Russell

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

Leveraging Exaflops Performance to Remediate Nuclear Waste

November 12, 2019

Nuclear waste storage sites are a subject of intense controversy and debate; nobody wants the radioactive remnants in their backyard. Now, a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, Pacific Northwest National University (PNNL 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

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. Th 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

Azure Cloud First with AMD Epyc Rome Processors

November 6, 2019

At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft's Azure cloud team and AMD announced an expansion of their partnership that began in 2017 when Azure debuted Epyc-backed ins Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Launches Credit Card-Sized 21 TOPS Jetson System for Edge Devices

November 6, 2019

Nvidia has launched a new addition to its Jetson product line: a credit card-sized (70x45mm) form factor delivering up to 21 trillion operations/second (TOPS) o Read more…

By Doug Black

In Memoriam: Steve Tuecke, Globus Co-founder

November 4, 2019

HPCwire is deeply saddened to report that Steve Tuecke, longtime scientist at Argonne National Lab and University of Chicago, has passed away at age 52. Tuecke Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Spending Spree: Hyperscalers Bought $57B of IT in 2018, $10B+ by Google – But Is Cloud on Horizon?

October 31, 2019

Hyperscalers are the masters of the IT universe, gravitational centers of increasing pull in the emerging age of data-driven compute and AI.  In the high-stake Read more…

By Doug Black

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

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo 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

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