The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

May 6, 2010

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

France’s GENCI Deploys SGI Supercomputers

PGI Accelerator Compilers Enhanced for Latest NVIDIA

Revolution Analytics Defines the Future of Predictive Analytics with R

SGI Announces Next-Generation Altix ICE Scale-Out Supercomputer

AMAX Launches 1,920-Core 4U GPU Server

Spectra Logic Doubles Capacity and Memory of High-Performance Disk Appliance

AMAX Intros GPU Cluster Based on ‘Fermi’ Architecture

Supermicro Ships 2nd Generation GPU Systems with New Double-Precision GPUs

Appro Introduces 1U Quad GPU Server Based on NVIDIA Tesla 20-Series GPUs

More GPU Routines Now Available from Numerical Algorithms Group

Bright Cluster Manager Leverages Latest NVIDIA Tesla GPUs

Appro Adds GPU Flexibility to Its GreenBlade System

Cray Reports First Quarter 2010 Financial Results

SGI Reports Q3 Fiscal 2010 Financial Results

D. E. Shaw’s Anton Supercomputer on Loan to PSC

This week, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) received a $2.7 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The money, which comes from the stimulus funds, will allow PSC to host a specialized supercomputer for biomolecular simulation. The machine and the innovative software that runs on it were designed by D. E. Shaw Research (DESRES), an independent research lab that enables high-speed molecular dynamics simulations. The supercomputer was dubbed “Anton” after the Dutch inventor of the microscope Anton van Leeuwenhoek because it allows scientists to see how molecules interact “close-up.”

From the release:

Anton was designed to dramatically increase the speed of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations compared with the previous state of the art, allowing biomedical researchers to understand the motions and interactions of proteins and other biologically important molecules over much longer time periods than have previously been accessible to computational study.

Studying how molecules change over time can lead to the development of new therapeutic drugs, but the process is so compute-intensive that many important biological phenomena were, up to now, impractical to simulate. Anton makes it possible to run simulations that extend for more than a millisecond of biological time, which is about 100 times longer than demonstrated in any previously-published reports.

The Anton project is one of 14 awards made by NIGMS with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for what the NIH views as “Grand Opportunities” for major scientific progress. In fact, this is the first time NIH has provided funds to make a supercomputing system for MD simulations available as a national resource.

According to NIGMS Director Jeremy M. Berg, “By closing specific knowledge gaps, creating new technologies, or building community-wide resources, these awards will dramatically propel progress in key scientific fields.”

Starting in late 2010, Anton will be made available gratis for non-commercial research use by universities and other non-profit ventures. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for computer time on Anton will be issued in the coming months, and the information will be available here.

NCSA Global Warming Predictions Dire, But Reversible

First the bad news: recent climate models confirm what many already know, that human-caused global warming is real. But the good news is it’s not too late to do something about it. So shows research put out this week by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

Donald Wuebbles, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been studying atmospheric chemistry and climate change for 40 years, and shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He and his team use the NCSA supercomputing resources to create and study 3D models of the atmosphere.

Says Wuebbles: “The climate is changing, and the evidence clearly suggests it is largely being caused by human activities. The good thing is, although we cannot totally reverse it, at least during this century, we can — by our energy and transportation choices — choose to keep the largest impacts from occurring.”

The term “global warming” is used heavily in media reports, even debated, but Wuebbles prefers the term “global weirding.” The phrase is suggestive of the strange weather events that climate change gives rise to. To those who question whether the warming trend is human related or just a natural phenomenon, he responds:

Climate does of course vary naturally, but the large changes we have been seeing in recent decades have the fingerprints of the human emissions as being the primary driving force. The global temperatures of the last decade are larger than they have been in over 2,000 years — this would not happen without some form of forcing. The Earth clearly has a fever.

Using NCSA’s Cobalt and Abe supercomputers, Weubbles team studies the findings from 3D chemistry-climate models that include the effects of air pollution. The pollution is a result of energy, industrial, and transportation sources, from dust storms, and from biomass burning. The models show that over the next 90 years, the warming of the planet’s land mass will increase substantially even if carbon dioxide emissions remain at their present levels (currently they are increasing). The temperature of the oceans will also increase, although not as quickly.

From the release:

While global warming is complicated, the basic mechanism underlying it is not. Natural emissions of heat-trapping gases essentially form a blanket in the Earth’s atmosphere, allowing life on our planet as we know it. The problem is human emissions are adding another blanket. This blanket is holding in the heat and keeping the planet toasty — lately, a little too toasty. But don’t expect a cooling trend any time soon. The gases emitted today will affect the Earth’s atmosphere many years from now.

So what can we do to slow the warming trend?

Human activities have caused or contributed to increasing temperatures and it will take human action to being to turn things around. Whether the changes are small or large — from the lightbulbs we purchase to the cars we drive — practicing conservation and reducing energy use will help lower carbon dioxide emissions. New technology, renewable energy resources and a forward-thinking green energy policy are all part of the overall strategy.

According to a special government task force that assessed the potential impacts of climate change on the United States, if nothing is done to stop the warming trend, average temperatures across the country could be nearly 11.5°F higher than they are now by the end of the century. Professor Weubbles explains that for folks living in Champaign, Ill., it will feel like their city slid down to Austin, Texas.

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!

Spurred by Global Ambitions, Inspur in Joint HPC Deal with DDN

January 17, 2017

Inspur, the fast-growth cloud computing and server vendor from China that has several systems on the current Top500 list, and DDN, a leader in high-end storage, have announced a joint sales and marketing agreement to produce solutions based on DDN storage platforms integrated with servers, networking, software and services from Inspur. Read more…

By Doug Black

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Jan. 12, 2017)

January 12, 2017

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

NSF Seeks Input on Cyberinfrastructure Advances Needed

January 12, 2017

In cased you missed it, the National Science Foundation posted a “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) late last week seeking input on needs for the next generation of cyberinfrastructure to support science and engineering. Read more…

By John Russell

NSF Approves Bridges Phase 2 Upgrade for Broader Research Use

January 12, 2017

The recently completed phase 2 upgrade of the Bridges supercomputer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has been approved by the National Science Foundation (NSF) making it now available for research allocations to the national scientific community, according to an announcement posted this week on the XSEDE web site. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Remote Visualization: An Integral Technology for Upstream Oil & Gas

As the exploration and production (E&P) of natural resources evolves into an even more complex and vital task, visualization technology has become integral for the upstream oil and gas industry. Read more…

Clemson Software Optimizes Big Data Transfers

January 11, 2017

Data-intensive science is not a new phenomenon as the high-energy physics and astrophysics communities can certainly attest, but today more and more scientists are facing steep data and throughput challenges fueled by soaring data volumes and the demands of global-scale collaboration. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

UberCloud Cites Progress in HPC Cloud Computing

January 10, 2017

200 HPC cloud experiments, 80 case studies, and a ton of hands-on experience gained, that’s the harvest of four years of UberCloud HPC Experiments. Read more…

By Wolfgang Gentzsch and Burak Yenier

A Conversation with Women in HPC Director Toni Collis

January 6, 2017

In this SC16 video interview, HPCwire Managing Editor Tiffany Trader sits down with Toni Collis, the director and founder of the Women in HPC (WHPC) network, to discuss the strides made since the organization’s debut in 2014. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Spurred by Global Ambitions, Inspur in Joint HPC Deal with DDN

January 17, 2017

Inspur, the fast-growth cloud computing and server vendor from China that has several systems on the current Top500 list, and DDN, a leader in high-end storage, have announced a joint sales and marketing agreement to produce solutions based on DDN storage platforms integrated with servers, networking, software and services from Inspur. Read more…

By Doug Black

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

UberCloud Cites Progress in HPC Cloud Computing

January 10, 2017

200 HPC cloud experiments, 80 case studies, and a ton of hands-on experience gained, that’s the harvest of four years of UberCloud HPC Experiments. Read more…

By Wolfgang Gentzsch and Burak Yenier

A Conversation with Women in HPC Director Toni Collis

January 6, 2017

In this SC16 video interview, HPCwire Managing Editor Tiffany Trader sits down with Toni Collis, the director and founder of the Women in HPC (WHPC) network, to discuss the strides made since the organization’s debut in 2014. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

Fast Rewind: 2016 Was a Wild Ride for HPC

December 23, 2016

Some years quietly sneak by – 2016 not so much. It’s safe to say there are always forces reshaping the HPC landscape but this year’s bunch seemed like a noisy lot. Among the noisemakers: TaihuLight, DGX-1/Pascal, Dell EMC & HPE-SGI et al., KNL to market, OPA-IB chest thumping, Fujitsu-ARM, new U.S. President-elect, BREXIT, JR’s Intel Exit, Exascale (whatever that means now), NCSA@30, whither NSCI, Deep Learning mania, HPC identity crisis…You get the picture. Read more…

By John Russell

AWI Uses New Cray Cluster for Earth Sciences and Bioinformatics

December 22, 2016

The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), headquartered in Bremerhaven, Germany, is one of the country's premier research institutes within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, and is an internationally respected center of expertise for polar and marine research. In November 2015, AWI awarded Cray a contract to install a cluster supercomputer that would help the institute accelerate time to discovery. Now the effort is starting to pay off. Read more…

By Linda Barney

Addison Snell: The ‘Wild West’ of HPC Disaggregation

December 16, 2016

We caught up with Addison Snell, CEO of HPC industry watcher Intersect360, at SC16 last month, and Snell had his expected, extensive list of insights into trends driving advanced-scale technology in both the commercial and research sectors. Read more…

By Doug Black

AWS Beats Azure to K80 General Availability

September 30, 2016

Amazon Web Services has seeded its cloud with Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs to meet the growing demand for accelerated computing across an increasingly-diverse range of workloads. The P2 instance family is a welcome addition for compute- and data-focused users who were growing frustrated with the performance limitations of Amazon's G2 instances, which are backed by three-year-old Nvidia GRID K520 graphics cards. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

September 26, 2016

Vector instructions, once a powerful performance innovation of supercomputing in the 1970s and 1980s became an obsolete technology in the 1990s. But like the mythical phoenix bird, vector instructions have arisen from the ashes. Here is the history of a technology that went from new to old then back to new. Read more…

By Lynd Stringer

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

Dell EMC Engineers Strategy to Democratize HPC

September 29, 2016

The freshly minted Dell EMC division of Dell Technologies is on a mission to take HPC mainstream with a strategy that hinges on engineered solutions, beginning with a focus on three industry verticals: manufacturing, research and life sciences. "Unlike traditional HPC where everybody bought parts, assembled parts and ran the workloads and did iterative engineering, we want folks to focus on time to innovation and let us worry about the infrastructure," said Jim Ganthier, senior vice president, validated solutions organization at Dell EMC Converged Platforms Solution Division. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

D-Wave SC16 Update: What’s Bo Ewald Saying These Days

November 18, 2016

Tucked in a back section of the SC16 exhibit hall, quantum computing pioneer D-Wave has been talking up its new 2000-qubit processor announced in September. Forget for a moment the criticism sometimes aimed at D-Wave. This small Canadian company has sold several machines including, for example, ones to Lockheed and NASA, and has worked with Google on mapping machine learning problems to quantum computing. In July Los Alamos National Laboratory took possession of a 1000-quibit D-Wave 2X system that LANL ordered a year ago around the time of SC15. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Genomics Pipeline Combines AWS, Local HPC, and Supercomputing

September 22, 2016

Declining DNA sequencing costs and the rush to do whole genome sequencing (WGS) of large cohort populations – think 5000 subjects now, but many more thousands soon – presents a formidable computational challenge to researchers attempting to make sense of large cohort datasets. Read more…

By John Russell

Beyond von Neumann, Neuromorphic Computing Steadily Advances

March 21, 2016

Neuromorphic computing – brain inspired computing – has long been a tantalizing goal. The human brain does with around 20 watts what supercomputers do with megawatts. And power consumption isn’t the only difference. Fundamentally, brains ‘think differently’ than the von Neumann architecture-based computers. While neuromorphic computing progress has been intriguing, it has still not proven very practical. Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale Computing Project Awards $39.8M to 22 Projects

September 7, 2016

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) hit an important milestone today with the announcement of its first round of funding, moving the nation closer to its goal of reaching capable exascale computing by 2023. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Dell Knights Landing Machine Sets New STAC Records

November 2, 2016

The Securities Technology Analysis Center, commonly known as STAC, has released a new report characterizing the performance of the Knight Landing-based Dell PowerEdge C6320p server on the STAC-A2 benchmarking suite, widely used by the financial services industry to test and evaluate computing platforms. The Dell machine has set new records for both the baseline Greeks benchmark and the large Greeks benchmark. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Paves Way for Better Diagnostics

September 19, 2016

Stanford researchers are leveraging GPU-based machines in the Amazon EC2 cloud to run deep learning workloads with the goal of improving diagnostics for a chronic eye disease, called diabetic retinopathy. The disease is a complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness if blood sugar is poorly controlled. It affects about 45 percent of diabetics and 100 million people worldwide, many in developing nations. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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