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 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!

Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

May 23, 2017

President Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spend Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Hedge Funds (with Supercomputing help) Rank First Among Investors

May 22, 2017

In case you didn’t know, The Quants Run Wall Street Now, or so says a headline in today’s Wall Street Journal. Quant-run hedge funds now control the largest Read more…

By John Russell

IBM, D-Wave Report Quantum Computing Advances

May 18, 2017

IBM said this week it has built and tested a pair of quantum computing processors, including a prototype of a commercial version. That progress follows an an Read more…

By George Leopold

PRACEdays 2017 Wraps Up in Barcelona

May 18, 2017

Barcelona has been absolutely lovely; the weather, the food, the people. I am, sadly, finishing my last day at PRACEdays 2017 with two sessions: an in-depth loo Read more…

By Kim McMahon

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Exploring the Three Models of Remote Visualization

The explosion of data and advancement of digital technologies are dramatically changing the way many companies do business. With the help of high performance computing (HPC) solutions and data analytics platforms, manufacturers are developing products faster, healthcare providers are improving patient care, and energy companies are improving planning, exploration, and production. Read more…

US, Europe, Japan Deepen Research Computing Partnership

May 18, 2017

On May 17, 2017, a ceremony was held during the PRACEdays 2017 conference in Barcelona to announce the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PRACE in Europe Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NSF, IARPA, and SRC Push into “Semiconductor Synthetic Biology” Computing

May 18, 2017

Research into how biological systems might be fashioned into computational technology has a long history with various DNA-based computing approaches explored. N Read more…

By John Russell

DOE’s HPC4Mfg Leads to Paper Manufacturing Improvement

May 17, 2017

Papermaking ranks third behind only petroleum refining and chemical production in terms of energy consumption. Recently, simulations made possible by the U.S. D Read more…

By John Russell

PRACEdays 2017: The start of a beautiful week in Barcelona

May 17, 2017

Touching down in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, it was warm, sunny, and oh so Spanish. I was greeted at my hotel with a glass of Cava to sip and treated to a Read more…

By Kim McMahon

Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

May 23, 2017

President Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spend Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Offers Supercomputing as a Service, Targets Biotechs First

May 16, 2017

Leading supercomputer vendor Cray and datacenter/cloud provider the Markley Group today announced plans to jointly deliver supercomputing as a service. The init Read more…

By John Russell

HPE’s Memory-centric The Machine Coming into View, Opens ARMs to 3rd-party Developers

May 16, 2017

Announced three years ago, HPE’s The Machine is said to be the largest R&D program in the venerable company’s history, one that could be progressing tow Read more…

By Doug Black

What’s Up with Hyperion as It Transitions From IDC?

May 15, 2017

If you’re wondering what’s happening with Hyperion Research – formerly the IDC HPC group – apparently you are not alone, says Steve Conway, now senior V Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Launches Servers, Services, and Collaboration at GTC

May 10, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today launched a new liquid cooled GPU-driven Apollo platform based on SGI ICE architecture, a new collaboration with NVIDIA, a Read more…

By John Russell

IBM PowerAI Tools Aim to Ease Deep Learning Data Prep, Shorten Training 

May 10, 2017

A new set of GPU-powered AI software announced by IBM today brings automation to many of the tedious, time consuming and complex aspects of AI project on-rampin Read more…

By Doug Black

Bright Computing 8.0 Adds Azure, Expands Machine Learning Support

May 9, 2017

Bright Computing, long a prominent provider of cluster management tools for HPC, today released version 8.0 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack. The Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Last week, Google reported that its custom ASIC Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) was 15-30x faster for inferencing workloads than Nvidia's K80 GPU (see our coverage Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

Since our first formal product releases of OSPRay and OpenSWR libraries in 2016, CPU-based Software Defined Visualization (SDVis) has achieved wide-spread adopt Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a ne Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which w Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling Read more…

By Steve Campbell

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Eng Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu's Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural networ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

As China continues to prove its supercomputing mettle via the Top500 list and the forward march of its ambitious plans to stand up an exascale machine by 2020, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of "quantum supremacy," researchers are stretching the limits of today's most advance Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This