ISC’10 Preview

By Michael Feldman

May 28, 2010

If the Icelandic volcano gods permit, this year’s International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany, will be the best-attended and the most exhibitor-laden show in the event’s 25-year history. The ISC organizers expect upwards of 2,000 attendees and around 150 exhibitors, both of which would be records.

The conference starts Sunday, May 30, and runs through Thursday, June 4, giving the HPC faithful 5 days of unrelenting supercomputing revelry. I’ll be there from start to finish, endeavoring to bring you the highlights of this year’s event with our special live coverage from HPCwire. And there should be plenty to cover.

As always, the big problem for us in the HPC journalistic biz at these big supercomputing shows is finding the gold nuggets amidst a lot of shiny-looking news, sessions, and exhibits. In this article, I’ll attempt to point out what I consider that can’t-miss happenings at this year’s conference.

One of the traditional events at ISC is the reshuffling of the TOP500 list, which represents the top supercomputing systems in the world by Linpack prowess. As far as what to expect this time around, I covered most of this in Wednesday’s blog entry. In that post, I surmised that the top systems would only see one or two new petaflop entries, but since then, I found out about two other possible candidates.

One is the new 1.25 (peak) petaflop Tera 100 system from Bull, which was installed for the French Atomic Energy Authority (the CEA). According to the Thursday press release, the machine was just powered up on 26 May, so presumably they missed the deadline earlier this month to turn in the Linpack benchmark results for the June list (although perhaps they did some lab benchmarking before deployment).

The second system won’t be officially announced until the week of ISC, so I can’t really say anything about it yet, except that it too is a petaflopper and it’s a brand new machine. If the owners got their Linpack results in on time, it will almost certainly be a top 5 system.

Turning to the conference proper, I’d like to point to a couple of keynotes that I think will be of interest to everyone. The first is Kirk Kaugen’s opening day keynote on Monday. Kaugen is vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and general manager of the company’s Data Center Group. He’s supposed to talk about scale-up and scale-out technology as it applies to HPC, but according to a recent Intel blog post, Kaugen will also talk about how they’re going to steer their Larrabee processor technology into the high performance computing realm. In December 2009, Intel revealed it had ditched Larrabee for the discrete high-end graphics market but left the door open to using the manycore technology for “throughput computing,” so this refocus on HPC is not too big of a surprise.

The second keynote that should not be missed is Thomas Sterling’s look back on the year in high performance computing. Something of an ISC tradition, Sterling always manages to make his year-in-review talk entertaining and informative.

On Tuesday and Wednesday are the two Hot Seat sessions, where execs from some of the big HPC vendors are scrutinized by a panel of “inquisitors.” A partial list of companies participating in the event includes: Bull, NEC, IBM, Cray, Microsoft, HP, and Fujitsu. A surprise entry is Oracle, who will be represented by Sun Microsystems alum, Marc Hamilton, who now has the title of Vice President, HPC Sales Support. If I were an inquisitor, I think my first question would be: “What are you doing here and what have you done with my Sun HPC servers?” I’m guessing someone will ask that question, albeit more tactfully.

HPC analysts will be working the conference pretty hard this year. John Barr from the 451 Group will be presenting HPC market trends and forecasts as part of the HPC Advisory Council European Workshop on Sunday afternoon. And on Monday, IDC will host its traditional breakfast analyst briefing, where the analysts will provide their own take on 2010 trends and deliver some predictions for the year ahead. And finally, Addison Snell, who heads InterSect360 Research, (along with yours truly) will be providing some real-time analysis and commentary at the conference with our ISC podcast series on Tuesday and Thursday.

As usual, all of the major HPC vendors will be exhibiting at ISC this year, including a gaggle of smaller Europe-based HPC companies that don’t usually make it to the larger US-based supercomputing conference in November. As I mentioned above, Oracle will be attending this year, and this will represent the first instance of the organization at an HPC venue. Up until now the company has said precious little about its HPC aspirations, so it will be interesting to see how they’re positioning themselves in this market after the Sun merger.

NVIDIA will also be attending this year (as a co-exhibitor with Microsoft), representing the first time the GPU maker has made the trek to ISC. With GPU computing storming into the HPC landscape this year, it’s little wonder that NVIDIA wants to get in on the fun. I counted 11 GPU computing presentations at the conference, and I’m guessing we’ll see some buzz about the new top-end supers equipped with (or soon to be equipped with) the latest Fermi hardware.

There are a boatload of worthwhile presentations at the show that are too numerous to list. But I’ll mention a few that look particularly interesting and you can follow the links to get the details:

Of course, there are social events in the evening, but if you happen to catch me at any of them, just remind me I’m supposed to be working. Otherwise, I hope to see you there.

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!

GTC 2019: Chief Scientist Bill Dally Provides Glimpse into Nvidia Research Engine

March 22, 2019

Amid the frenzy of GTC this week – Nvidia’s annual conference showcasing all things GPU (and now AI) – William Dally, chief scientist and SVP of research, provided a brief but insightful portrait of Nvidia’s rese Read more…

By John Russell

ORNL Helps Identify Challenges of Extremely Heterogeneous Architectures

March 21, 2019

Exponential growth in classical computing over the last two decades has produced hardware and software that support lightning-fast processing speeds, but advancements are topping out as computing architectures reach thei Read more…

By Laurie Varma

Interview with 2019 Person to Watch Jim Keller

March 21, 2019

On the heels of Intel's reaffirmation that it will deliver the first U.S. exascale computer in 2021, which will feature the company's new Intel Xe architecture, we bring you our interview with our 2019 Person to Watch Jim Keller, head of the Silicon Engineering Group at Intel. Read more…

By HPCwire Editorial Team

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

powercloud_blog.jpgFor decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Insurance: Where’s the Risk?

Insurers are facing extreme competitive challenges in their core businesses. Property and Casualty (P&C) and Life and Health (L&H) firms alike are highly impacted by the ongoing globalization, increasing regulation, and digital transformation of their client bases. Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: TensorFlow, Buddy Compression, Intel Optane & More

March 20, 2019

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

GTC 2019: Chief Scientist Bill Dally Provides Glimpse into Nvidia Research Engine

March 22, 2019

Amid the frenzy of GTC this week – Nvidia’s annual conference showcasing all things GPU (and now AI) – William Dally, chief scientist and SVP of research, Read more…

By John Russell

At GTC: Nvidia Expands Scope of Its AI and Datacenter Ecosystem

March 19, 2019

In the high-stakes race to provide the AI life-cycle solution of choice, three of the biggest horses in the field are IBM, Intel and Nvidia. While the latter is only a fraction of the size of its two bigger rivals, and has been in business for only a fraction of the time, Nvidia continues to impress with an expanding array of new GPU-based hardware, software, robotics, partnerships and... Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Debuts Clara AI Toolkit with Pre-Trained Models for Radiology Use

March 19, 2019

AI’s push into healthcare got a boost yesterday with Nvidia’s release of the Clara Deploy AI toolkit which includes 13 pre-trained models for use in radiolo Read more…

By John Russell

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oil and Gas Supercloud Clears Out Remaining Knights Landing Inventory: All 38,000 Wafers

March 13, 2019

The McCloud HPC service being built by Australia’s DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) outside Houston is set to become the largest oil and gas cloud in the world th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quick Take: Trump’s 2020 Budget Spares DoE-funded HPC but Slams NSF and NIH

March 12, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget request, released yesterday, proposes deep cuts in many science programs but seems to spare HPC funding by the Depar Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Wins Mellanox Stakes for $6.9 Billion

March 11, 2019

The long-rumored acquisition of Mellanox came to fruition this morning with GPU chipmaker Nvidia’s announcement that it has purchased the high-performance net Read more…

By Doug Black

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?

November 26, 2018

Is BeeGFS – the parallel file system with European roots – on a path to compete with Lustre and Spectrum Scale worldwide in HPC environments? Frank Herold Read more…

By John Russell

France to Deploy AI-Focused Supercomputer: Jean Zay

January 22, 2019

HPE announced today that it won the contract to build a supercomputer that will drive France’s AI and HPC efforts. The computer will be part of GENCI, the Fre Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This