The Week in Review

By John E. West

September 25, 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

HPL gets updated;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/24/hpl-gets-an-upgrade/

Tilera revamps design in attempt to scale memory wall;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/25/tilera-revamps-chip-in-attempt-to-scale-memory-wall/

Gizmodo spends quality time with bigger-than-it-looks CX1;
http://gizmodo.com/5053076/hands-on-cray-cx1-windows-supercomputer-one-day-itll-make-crysis-cry

insideHPC follows Google trail and comes out with CX1 suspect;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/22/the-insidetrack-crays-cx1-partner-unmasked/

Saudi super to be a Blue Gene;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/23/saudi-super-to-be-a-blue-gene/

NASA buys 4k core iDataPlex system;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/23/nccs-buys-ibm-idataplex/

HPC Server 2008 shrink wrapped;
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/sep08/09-22HPCLaunch08PR.mspx

Microsoft opens new computing research lab in New England;
http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Microsoft_Opens_New_England_Research_Lab.html

SGI revs license terms on OpenGL Sample Implementation, other software;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/23/sgi-lifts-opengl-software-kilt-a-little-further/

>>IBM expands On Demand offering, HPC Server test drive and vis

IBM announced two changes to its On Demand compute offering this week.

For the low low price of $99, IBM will let you give Windows HPC Server a test drive:

IBM said today it will offer remote, $99 “test drives” of Microsoft’s newly launched supercomputer operating system, Windows HPC Server 2008, via its global network of IBM Computing on Demand facilities.

You can get your test drive in units of 14 or 16 nodes on IBM BladeCenter or System x servers. IBM maintains a broad selection of pay-by-the-hour supercomputing hardware in its Computing on Demand centers, which offer more than 56 terabytes of storage and 13,000 processors.

IBM also announced the addition of visualization services for remote users:

IBM also said that it would make available to on-demand users its high-end 3D visualization engine known as Deep Computing Visualization (DCV). Already used by clients in the automotive, life sciences, aerospace and energy industries, DCV allows for extremely detailed 3D modeling of data. By tapping into DCV on demand, clients can reduce in-house network bottlenecks and offer powerful 3D graphics capabilities to more users. DCV also allows multiple remote users to work on the same data simultaneously.

This is something that many in the community, including me at the day job, are working on, so I’m glad to see this.

>>Just like your datacenter, only in a tent

This week we had word from Nick Carr (whom I’ve never met but insist on using the familiar form of his name anyway) on a new Microsoft effort to test datacenters deployed in tents. No, seriously.

We have seen datacenters in semitrailers, datacenters in caves, datacenters in Siberia, datacenters in the Las Vegas desert, and datacenters that float in the middle of the ocean. Today we have word, via Data Center Knowledge, that Microsoft has been testing datacenters in tents. (They’re calling it In Tents Computing.)

Evidently this is part of a larger effort by engineers at MS to get down to datacenters with a PUE of 1.0 (Power Usage Effectiveness — a PUE of 1.0 means that all the power put into a datacenter is going into compute; you can read more about it at The Green Grid’s site here [warning: PDF]).

One of the dudes attempting this feat of back-to-nature computing has a great blog post about it:

As a former server designer, I know that server vendors “sandbag” their hardware. Sandbagging refers to the practice of knowing you can do more but holding back to hedge your risks; in reality, I believe that manufacturers can take greater risks in their operating environments and still achieve the same reliability levels. Knowing about the chronic sandbagging in the industry, I thought that if I could run some servers in the Building 2 garage or somewhere were the equipment is at least protected from the rain, we could show the world the idea is not that crazy and is worth exploring.

…Inside the tent, we had five HP DL585s running Sandra from November 2007 to June 2008 and we had ZERO failures or 100 percent uptime.

Cool anecdotes: water drips on the rack from the tent without incident, and a windstorm blew a fence onto the rack with no ill effect. The post is a great read, and I’m offering a free case of beer to the first one of you who sets up a cluster of at least eight nodes in the out of doors running LINPACK for a week. Two cases if you have a tropical storm during the experiment.

>>NVIDIA announces 6.5 percent workforce reduction

NVIDIA has announced that it will be the latest addition to a long list of corporate downsizing. At the end of October, it will kindly wave goodbye to 6.5 percent of its workforce, or roughly 360 people. Bummer. According to company representatives, the move comes in the face of strategic growth initiatives. One such initiative is NVIDIA’s foray into high performance computing.

“Our action today is difficult, but necessary considering current business realities. Despite our reduction, we will continue to invest in selective high-growth opportunities like our revolutionary CUDA parallel computing technology and our Tegra mobile single-chip computer,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “We are taking fast action to enhance our competitive position and restore our financial performance. All of us at Nvidia are determined to emerge from these challenges an even stronger company.”

The move will also boost what have recently been sagging financials. The company took a financial hit in Q2 when it was forced to replace bad chips used in HP and Dell notebooks. This, to the tune of $196 million. Ouch!

For more info on NVIDIA’s cutbacks, read the full article 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!

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

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

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

Using HPC and Machine Learning to Predict Traffic Congestion

November 12, 2019

Traffic congestion is a never-ending logic puzzle, dictated by commute patterns, but also by more stochastic accidents and similar disruptions. Traffic engineers struggle to model the traffic flow that occurs after accid Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Mira Supercomputer Enables Cancer Research Breakthrough

November 11, 2019

Dynamic partial-wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy allows researchers to observe intracellular structures as small as 20 nanometers – smaller than those visible by optical microscopes – in three dimensions at a mill Read more…

By Staff report

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

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 (quantum annealing) – ion trap technology is edging into the QC Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

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

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