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2009 Supercomputing Conference



Exascale Expectations

Supercomputer performance has grown at a fairly constant rate of a 1,000-fold increase per decade. Will the sprint to exascale be able to hold that pace?

2010 Annual HPCwire Readers Choice Awards

Feature Articles from SC09

Ubiquitous Parallelism and the Classroom

(11/20/2009) – The oft-contended best simple statement is that we need ubiquitous parallelism in the classroom. In the near future, most electronic devices will have multiple cores which would benefit greatly from parallel programming. The low hanging fruit is, of course, the student’s laptop, and aiding the student to make full use of that laptop.
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Reconfigurable Computing Research Pushes Forward

(11/20/2009) – Despite all the all the recent hoopla about GPGPUs and eight-core CPUs, proponents of reconfigurable computing continue to sing the praises of FPGA-based HPC. We got the opportunity to ask Dr. Alan George, who runs the NSF Center for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing, about the work going on there and what he thinks the technology can offer to high performance computing users.
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Parallel NFS Is the Future Standard to Manage Petabyte Level Growth

(11/19/2009) – IT professionals are constantly being challenged to manage exponential growth that has reached petabyte levels. As pressures increase on IT to deliver even-higher levels of productivity and efficiency, a new generation file system standard will be required to maximize utilization of powerful server and cluster resources while minimizing management overhead.
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Jaguar Scales TOP500

(11/19/2009) – AMD’s John Fruehe and ORNL’s Buddy Bland talk about the significance of Jaguar capturing the top spot in the supercomputing world and what that means for the most demanding science applications.
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Mitrionics Looks Beyond FPGAs

(11/18/2009) – Mitrionics has begun work on an experimental compiler that aims to make parallel programming architecture-agnostic. We asked Stefan Möhl, Mitrionics’ chief science officer and co-founder, what’s behind the new technology and what prompted the decision to expand beyond their FPGA roots.
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Intel CTO Tells HPC Crowd to Get a Second Life

(11/17/2009) – The opening address of the Supercomputing Conference had a surreal quality to it in more ways than one. Between talking avatars, physics-simulated sound, and a Larrabee demo running HPC-type codes, it was hard to separate reality from fantasy.
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DataDirect Networks Builds on Storage Fusion Architecture

(11/16/2009) – HPC storage vendor DataDirect Networks will soon offer integrated clustered file system support in its Storage Fusion Architecture product line. The idea is to drastically reduce the amount of storage switches and file system servers, and thus the cost and complexity of supercomputer-sized file storage.
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SGI Colors New Shared Memory Machines Ultraviolet

(11/16/2009) – After what may be the longest development cycle ever for a supercomputer, SGI has unveiled the first commercial implementation of its Ultraviolet architecture. The company first announced “Project Ultraviolet” at SC03. Now six years later, it has launched Altix UV, the company’s first scale-up HPC system based on x86 technology.
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Déjà Vu All Over Again

(11/16/2009) – Never short on opinions, especially when it comes to high performance computing, Convey Computer Co-Founder Steve Wallach talked to HPCwire about the future of HPC and how lessons from the past can point the way for the future.
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OpenFabrics Alliance Weaves Its Story at SC09

(11/15/2009) – We have developed something of a tradition at HPCwire in the weeks leading up to each year’s SC conference; we interview the chairman of the OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA). Jim Ryan of Intel has been the OFA’s chair all these years, and our annual interview with Jim was as interesting as ever.
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NVIDIA Unleashes Fermi GPU for HPC

(11/15/2009) – NVIDIA has announced the first Fermi GPU products here at the Supercomputing Conference (SC09) in Portland, Oregon, where thousands of attendees will get a chance to see the company’s next-generation chip in action. The GPUs will first touch down in NVIDIA’s new Tesla 20-series products aimed at HPC workstations and servers.
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A Conversation with SC09 General Chair Wilf Pinfold

(11/06/2009) – SC09 General Chair Wilf Pinfold shares his thoughts on organizing the world’s largest Supercomputing event, examines this year’s big conference themes and gives his take on the state of the industry and how that reflects on the conference.
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Special Commentary from SC09

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Vendors to Watch
The SC09 exhibitors are gone, but not forgotten. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Big Blue Simulates Little Brain
Bigger brains on the way. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Tokyo Tech Aims for 3 Petaflop Super in 2010
Buying Teslas by the bushel. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
Cray Supers Grab Gold, Bronze in TOP500
Jaguar leaves Roadrunner in the dust. Read more…

Michael FeldmanMichael Feldman
SC09 Ready Or Not
Once more unto the breach. Read more…


Off the Wire from SC09

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