The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

March 25, 2010

Here is a collection of highlights from this week’s news stream as reported by HPCwire.

New World Record in Energy-Efficient Data Processing

HP, Intel Detail Technology Advances for Workstation Customers

Eurotech, AuroraScience to Install Aurora Au-5600 System

DOE, USDA, and NSF Launch Joint Climate Change Prediction Research Program

IDC Says HPC Server Market Declined 11.6% in 2009

Dell Announces New Medical Archiving and HPC Solutions

Linux Selected as Operating System for Blue Waters

AMD Hardware Added to IACAT Accelerator Cluster

TotalView 8.8 with ReplayEngine 1.7 and MemoryScape 3.1 Released

Cray Launches CX1000 Supercomputer

Chelsio Announces 4th Generation Terminator Chip

Sandia to Break Ground for New Computational Laboratories Building

Avago Technologies Collaborates with IBM on Optical Interconnect

XtreemOS 2.1 Release Announced

Astrophysicists, Cosmologists to Tap Power of Blue Waters

Nine PRACE Prototypes are Available for Testing

Computer Science Enrollment Trending Upward

For the second year in a row, both the number of undergraduate students enrolled in computer science departments and the number of undergraduates majoring in computer science increased significantly after steep decline for nearly a decade, according to the Computing Research Association’s Taulbee Survey.

From the Computing Research Policy blog:

The number of new students majoring in computer science increased 8.5 percent over last year. The total number of majors increased 5.5 percent, yielding a two-year increase of 14 percent. Computer science graduation rates should increase in two to three years as these new students graduate.

This growth comes at the same time as goverment projections anticipate that careers in computing are among those that will grow fastest over the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, predicts that computer science graduates can anticipate excellent job prospects with higher than average salaries.

The chair of the CRA, Dr. Eric Grimson, shared his thoughts on the increase:

This upward surge proves that computer science is cool again. Computers, smartphones and online social networks are a daily part of young people’s lives. It should come as no surprise that today’s students want to learn more about computing.

Surely, driving interest in technology is a complex, multi-faceted issue, but it seems possible that the new administration’s pro-science policies are already reaping dividends. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), aka “the stimulus package,” provided approximately $21 billion for scientific research and development, scientific equipment, and science-related construction.

The “Computing Degree and Enrollment Trends” portion of CRA’s annual survey of its member departments, the CRA Taulbee Survey, can be downloaded here (PDF).

IBM Partners with Forschungszentrum Juelich to Develop Exascale System

Once the petascale barrier was surpassed, it was inevitable that the future-minded would look to hit the next big mark. In the scheme of big number counting, we have the terms teraflop, petaflop and exaflop, each representing a 1,000-fold increase of the one before. So the trajectory is exponential, not linear, which just adds to the intensity of the challenge. On average, that 1,000 fold increase in processing power takes about 10 years to achieve, which would put the creation of an exascale system in the 2018-2019 timeframe.

In that spirit, IBM has announced its latest Exascale Innovation Center, this one a partership with the German Supercomputing Center, Forschungszentrum Juelich. The two parties signed a contract to develop hardware and software for an exascale supercomputer that will be under development through the end of the decade.

Professor Bachem, the chairman of the board of directors of Forschungszentrum Juelich, characterized the exascale project at ”the premier challenge for supercomputing worldwide.”

Forschungszentrum Juelich is already home to the petaflop-level JUGENE supercomputer, a BlueGene/P system, and the fastest supercomputer in Europe based on the latest TOP500 listing. So it makes sense that Forschungszentrum Juelich is one of a few clients that IBM has selected to assist with the development testing of the next iteration the IBM Blue Gene architecture.

A prototype of the new exascale supercomputer is expected to be ready in 2015, with a full exaflop-level machine planned for 2019.

IBM is not alone in its exaflop aspirations; other companies have announced their own exascale projects in recent months. For example, in December, Cray launched its Exascale Research Initiative in Frankfurt, Germany, and in November, Intel announced plans to create its European Exascale Computing Research Center in Paris, France.

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Geospatial Data Research Leverages GPUs

August 17, 2017

MapD Technologies, the GPU-accelerated database specialist, said it is working with university researchers on leveraging graphics processors to advance geospatial analytics. The San Francisco-based company is collabor Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center

August 17, 2017

A collaboration between the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Intel and five Intel Parallel Computing Centers (IPCCs) has resulted in a new Big Data Center (BDC) that Read more…

By Linda Barney

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last week the cloud giant released deeplearn.js as part of that in Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Leveraging Deep Learning for Fraud Detection

Advancements in computing technologies and the expanding use of e-commerce platforms have dramatically increased the risk of fraud for financial services companies and their customers. Read more…

Spoiler Alert: Glimpse Next Week’s Solar Eclipse Via Simulation from TACC, SDSC, and NASA

August 17, 2017

Can’t wait to see next week’s solar eclipse? You can at least catch glimpses of what scientists expect it will look like. A team from Predictive Science Inc. (PSI), based in San Diego, working with Stampede2 at the Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Bolsters Azure With Cloud HPC Deal

August 15, 2017

Microsoft has acquired cloud computing software vendor Cycle Computing in a move designed to bring orchestration tools along with high-end computing access capabilities to the cloud. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Ships Supercomputer to Space Station, Final Destination Mars

August 14, 2017

With a manned mission to Mars on the horizon, the demand for space-based supercomputing is at hand. Today HPE and NASA sent the first off-the-shelf HPC system i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD EPYC Video Takes Aim at Intel’s Broadwell

August 14, 2017

Let the benchmarking begin. Last week, AMD posted a YouTube video in which one of its EPYC-based systems outperformed a ‘comparable’ Intel Broadwell-based s Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Thrives in Cancer Moonshot

August 8, 2017

The U.S. War on Cancer, certainly a worthy cause, is a collection of programs stretching back more than 40 years and abiding under many banners. The latest is t Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Raises the Bar for Distributed Deep Learning

August 8, 2017

IBM is announcing today an enhancement to its PowerAI software platform aimed at facilitating the practical scaling of AI models on today’s fastest GPUs. Scal Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Storage Breakthrough Paves Way for 330TB Tape Cartridges

August 3, 2017

IBM announced yesterday a new record for magnetic tape storage that it says will keep tape storage density on a Moore's law-like path far into the next decade. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Stuffs a Petaflops of Machine Intelligence into 20-Node Rack

August 1, 2017

With its Radeon “Vega” Instinct datacenter GPUs and EPYC “Naples” server chips entering the market this summer, AMD has positioned itself for a two-head Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ 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

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

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

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. 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

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

Leading Solution Providers

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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 Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

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