The Week in Review

By John E. West

October 16, 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

Should HPC vendors use down market to go private?
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/15/should-the-hpc-vendors-go-private/

Parallel programming and the .Net Framework 4.0;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/15/parallel-programming-and-the-net-framework-40/

SDSC dedicates new building;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/16/sdsc-dedicates-new-building/

NVIDIA Hosting SC08 CUDA Tutorial;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/14/nvidia-hosting-sc08-cuda-tutorial/

Liquid Computing bails on its proprietary interconnect;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/16/liquid-computing-bails-on-its-proprietary-interconnect/

Dell and Platform partner for HPC;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/15/dell-and-platform-partner-for-hpc/

UMaine, SiCortex keep cyclists off mean streets of New England;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/13/umaine-and-sicortex-keeping-cyclists-off-the-mean-streets-of-new-england/

DOJ Drops Antitrust Investigation of NVIDIA;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/13/doj-drops-antitrust-investigation-of-nvidia/

Target the Excel set;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/15/want-to-make-money-selling-hpc-kit-target-the-excel-set/

>>Cray retires debt, signals healthy business in spite of turbulent market

Last week Cray filed a Form 8-K [PDF] with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “Report of unscheduled material events or corporate event.” The unscheduled material event is the buy down of 50 percent of Cray’s outstanding debt, held as Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes. BusinessFinance.com has an explanation of what a Convertible Note is here, but basically you should think of it as a loan that the lender can convert to shares of stock at some point in the future.

From the filing:

On October 1, 2008, we repurchased $25,000,000 in principal amount of our 3.0% Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2024 (the “Notes”) at a price equal to 92% of par value plus accrued interest.

On October 2, 2008, we repurchased $15,200,000 in principal amount of Notes at a price equal to 91.5% of par value plus accrued interest.

After these purchases we have an aggregate principal amount of $39,800,000 of Notes outstanding.

There are a few important things to note here. First, Cray is buying back this debt at a discount of roughly 92 percent in each case. This is great for them, since they got to borrow 100 dollars and only pay back 92 ($92 on the first and $91.50 on the second). They were able to do this because the lenders were desperate for cash in the wake of the ongoing financial turmoil.

Second, the company has taken this action when the credit markets are fairly seized up. The short term credit markets are important for all kinds of businesses, including Cray, because they use these markets to borrow money to buy the pieces and parts they use to make their final products. Customers don’t pay before they receive the product, but you can’t build the product without the parts. Cray is indicating with this move that their cash position after the move is still strong enough that they won’t have trouble filling orders in the near term. I’m not a financial guy, but this to me seems like the actions of a relatively healthy company.

Cray CEO Pete Ungaro had this to say in an email exchange about the move:

We are very excited about this transaction. We feel confident enough in both our short and longer-term financial position to be able to buy back the notes at a nice discount and strengthen our balance sheet — a move that is positive both for our shareholders and customers alike.

>>Warm up your datacenter

Rich Miller writing at Data Center Knowledge:

The latest company to focus attention on temperature in the datacenter is Google. “The guidance we give to data center operators is to raise the thermostat,” said Erik Teetzel, an Energy Program Manager at Google. “Many data centers operate at 70 degrees or below. We’d recommend looking at going to 80 degrees.”

Jumping Jehoshaphat, that’s warm. We are well below 70 ourselves…

Data center managers can save 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the set point, according to Mark Monroe of Sun Microsystems, who discussed data center set points at a conference last year.

The article covers different approaches and some of the downsides that balance the upside potential. Worth a read.

Intel recently conducted a 10-month test to evaluate the impact of using only outside air (also known as air-side economization) to cool a high-density data center in New Mexico, where the temperature ranged from 64 degrees to as high as 92 degrees. Intel said it found “no consistent increase” in failure rates due to the greater variation in temperature and humidity.

>>Ferrari Takes a Look at Windows HPC Server

Ferrari SpA has announced that it has signed up to test Microsoft’s latest HPC-centric operating system, Windows HPC Server 2008. Ferrari will utilize the Windows HPC stack to enhance its automotive engineering, design and development.

“Ferrari is always looking for the most advanced technological solutions, and of course, the same applies for software and engineering,” said Piergiorgio Grossi, head of information systems at Ferrari. “We are always focused on scouting new technologies that can give us a competitive advantage. Windows HPC Server 2008 is very promising, and the long-lasting collaboration with Ferrari will give directions to develop a fast, familiar, high-performance computing platform for our users, engineers and administrators.”

No mention of whether they will also use it for Formula-1 development activities. No (prancing) horses were harmed in the writing of this article. More info 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

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

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

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