A Week at the International Supercomputing Conference

By Tom Tabor

June 11, 2010

ISC Celebrates 25 Years

Congratulations to Hans Meuer and the “old timers” — Hans’ reference to the six colleagues who were with him at the very first ISC event. Presented with their designations from 25 years ago, they are:

  • Dr. Werner Butscher, HPC specialist at Prakla Seismos.
  • Dr. Wolfgang Gentzsch, HPC specialist at DLR.
  • Dr. Hans Meuer, computing center director and professor at Mannheim University.
  • Dr. Kenichi Miura, HPC expert at Fujitsu.
  • Helmut Mühl-Kühner, managing director of Convex in Germany.
  • Dr. Wolfgang Nagel, research assistant at FZ Juelich.
  • Erich Schnepf, HPC specialist at Siemens AG.

At 74 years old (June 7th was his birthday, Happy Birthday Hans!), this jovial professor runs ISC as if it’s still a quaint gathering of his European HPC colleagues. It should be noted that this open atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship lends to great discussions, networking and collaborations. Celebrating its 25th year, the event is now “the” HPC event in Europe. Congratulations on another successful year, Hans — wishing you many more to come!
 

Hans Meuer, General Chair ISC; Wolfgang Gentzsch, ISC Cloud General Chair, Contributing Editor of HPC in the Cloud; Tom Tabor, Publisher HPC in the Cloud & HPCwire

Intel – the biggest announcement at the event

Editor Michael Feldman covers Intel’s surprise announcement and its plans for building an HPC coprocessor. Many were not briefed and were thus caught by surprise with this announcement. An Intel source informed me that the board approved the announcement just days before ISC, giving their HPC team little opportunity to get the word out to their hardware partners.

TOP500

The TOP500 is not all that exciting this year, but continues to get great global coverage. Everyone loves a horse race and supercomputing is no exception. Coverage of the TOP500 came in from the BBC, MSNBC, and Cnet, just to name a few.

Here are a couple of comments from two ardent followers of the list:

Michael Feldman, editor of HPCwire, said, ”A Chinese supercomputer called Nebulae, powered by the latest Fermi GPUs, grabbed the number two spot on the TOP500… It’s also good news for China. That country is developing its supercomputing resources at a rapid pace now, especially at the top end of the spectrum. This latest list puts 24 Chinese systems in the TOP500 — tied with Germany, and trailing only the US, UK, and France. And from an aggregate performance standpoint, China is second only to the US.

Besides the China-GPU excitement, the rest of the TOP500 news was rather humdrum.”

Chris Willard, Chief Research Officer for Intersect360 Research, wrote: “…outside of the HPC technical community, the computer science part of the TOP500 is largely ignored, reducing one of the most complex technologies and markets in the world to a few dozen statistics. This is like sending your child to medical school based on which institution has the highest-rated basketball team, or like assuming that one can understand chemistry by examining the bottom rows of the periodic table.”

Microsoft – Modeling the World

Imagine the day with HPC in the cloud and swiping your credit card to gain access and pay for all you might need. This is where Microsoft is heading. The belief is there are millions of HPC users in the “missing middle” who don’t necessarily need petascale technologies but need HPC to solve problems. Isn’t this what we’ve been working toward all these years? Since 1985 at the start of the Supercomputing Era, this is what we envisioned and we’re now ever so close!

IDC Market Update

IDC released its May 2010 HPC market update (slides of the report are available here in PowerPoint). Overall, the HPC market is projected to grow for some of the following reasons:

  • HPC has become a competitive weapon — global competitiveness is driving R&D.
  • Governments view HPC leadership as critical — national pride and economic prosperity.
  • There are critical HPC issues that need to be solved — global warming, alternative energy, homeland security, etc.
  • “Live” science and “live” engineering — time to solution is months faster with simulations.

New Modeling and Simulation Leadership Panel

Intersect360 Research announced the formation of their Modeling and Simulation Leadership Panel. They’re inviting organizations to become members of this worldwide panel of organizations using computational modeling, simulation and analytics to advance their cutting-edge positions in engineering development and scientific research.

Members will be involved in steering the direction of the HPC industry as it applies to computational modeling, simulation and analysis.

The Russians are coming…

Have you heard of T-Platforms? No surprise if you haven’t, yet another AMD/Intel hardware systems vendor. They’re the “chosen one” of the Russian government. Essentially, whatever they sell, the Russian government will buy and if they don’t have something you’re looking for, the Russian government will pay them to build it. An envious position to be in for any HPC vendor. Having said that, this isn’t that unusual from a nationalistic HPC perspective, the US did this in the formative years of its HPC era. In any case, T-Platforms opened an office in Europe and plans “significant growth in this market.” I’m sure there are a few vendors who would like to welcome them to the very competitive EMEA marketplace, namely IBM, Dell, HP, Bull, SGI, Cray, Fujitsu and NEC, just to name a few. We wish them the best of luck.

Race to Exascale

We caught up with Jack Dongarra and did a very insightful interview where he outlined the challenges of achieving exascale computing and the global efforts towards that end. It should be no surprise that software continues to be the major bottleneck.

In a separate piece, Thomas Sterling and Chirag Dekate of Louisiana State University covered the major activities that have just been created during the last year to engage the talents of the international community including experts in hardware, software, algorithms, and domain science. They named IESP, DOE X-Stack, and DARPA UHPC plus many other smaller initiatives.

We will be significantly expanding our coverage of this very exciting new stage of HPC. Keep an eye on our expanded coverage of the race to exascale.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industry updates delivered to you every week!

Weekly Wire Roundup: July 8-July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

HPC news can get pretty sleepy in June and July, but this week saw a bump in activity midweek as Americans realized they still had work to do after the previous holiday weekend. The world outside the United States also s Read more…

Nvidia, Intel not Welcomed in New Apple AI and HPC Development Tools

July 12, 2024

New Mac developer tools will leverage Apple's homegrown chips, limiting HPC users' ability to use parallel programming frameworks from Intel or Nvidia. Apple's latest programming framework, Xcode 16, was introduced at Read more…

Virga: Australia’s New HPC and AI Powerhouse

July 11, 2024

Australia has officially added another supercomputer to the TOP500 list with the implementation of Virga. Officially coming online in June 2024, Virga is the newest HPC system to come out of the Australian Commonwealth S Read more…

NSF Issues Next Solicitation and More Detail on National Quantum Virtual Laboratory

July 10, 2024

After percolating for roughly a year, NSF has issued the next solicitation for the National Quantum Virtual Lab program — this one focused on design and implementation phases of the Quantum Quantum Science and Technolo Read more…

NCSA’s SEAS Team Keeps APACE of AlphaFold2

July 9, 2024

High-performance computing (HPC) can often be challenging for researchers to use because it requires expertise in working with large datasets, scaling the software, and selecting the best user interface. The National Read more…

Anders Jensen on Europe’s Plan for AI-optimized Supercomputers, Welcoming the UK, and More

July 8, 2024

The recent ISC24 conference in Hamburg showcased LUMI and other leadership-class supercomputers co-funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU), including three of the 10 highest-ranking Top500 systems, but some other ne Read more…

Shutterstock 2203611339

NSF Issues Next Solicitation and More Detail on National Quantum Virtual Laboratory

July 10, 2024

After percolating for roughly a year, NSF has issued the next solicitation for the National Quantum Virtual Lab program — this one focused on design and imple Read more…

NCSA’s SEAS Team Keeps APACE of AlphaFold2

July 9, 2024

High-performance computing (HPC) can often be challenging for researchers to use because it requires expertise in working with large datasets, scaling the softw Read more…

Anders Jensen on Europe’s Plan for AI-optimized Supercomputers, Welcoming the UK, and More

July 8, 2024

The recent ISC24 conference in Hamburg showcased LUMI and other leadership-class supercomputers co-funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU), including three Read more…

Generative AI to Account for 1.5% of World’s Power Consumption by 2029

July 8, 2024

Generative AI will take on a larger chunk of the world's power consumption to keep up with the hefty hardware requirements to run applications. "AI chips repres Read more…

US Senators Propose $32 Billion in Annual AI Spending, but Critics Remain Unconvinced

July 5, 2024

Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, and three colleagues want the US government to spend at least $32 billion annually by 2026 for non-defense related AI systems.  T Read more…

Point and Click HPC: High-Performance Desktops

July 3, 2024

Recently, an interesting paper appeared on Arvix called Use Cases for High-Performance Research Desktops. To be clear, the term desktop in this context does not Read more…

IonQ Plots Path to Commercial (Quantum) Advantage

July 2, 2024

IonQ, the trapped ion quantum computing specialist, delivered a progress report last week firming up 2024/25 product goals and reviewing its technology roadmap. Read more…

Shutterstock_1687123447

Nvidia Economics: Make $5-$7 for Every $1 Spent on GPUs

June 30, 2024

Nvidia is saying that companies could make $5 to $7 for every $1 invested in GPUs over a four-year period. Customers are investing billions in new Nvidia hardwa Read more…

Atos Outlines Plans to Get Acquired, and a Path Forward

May 21, 2024

Atos – via its subsidiary Eviden – is the second major supercomputer maker outside of HPE, while others have largely dropped out. The lack of integrators and Atos' financial turmoil have the HPC market worried. If Atos goes under, HPE will be the only major option for building large-scale systems. Read more…

Everyone Except Nvidia Forms Ultra Accelerator Link (UALink) Consortium

May 30, 2024

Consider the GPU. An island of SIMD greatness that makes light work of matrix math. Originally designed to rapidly paint dots on a computer monitor, it was then Read more…

Comparing NVIDIA A100 and NVIDIA L40S: Which GPU is Ideal for AI and Graphics-Intensive Workloads?

October 30, 2023

With long lead times for the NVIDIA H100 and A100 GPUs, many organizations are looking at the new NVIDIA L40S GPU, which it’s a new GPU optimized for AI and g Read more…

Nvidia’s New Blackwell GPU Can Train AI Models with Trillions of Parameters

March 18, 2024

Nvidia's latest and fastest GPU, codenamed Blackwell, is here and will underpin the company's AI plans this year. The chip offers performance improvements from Read more…

Shutterstock_1687123447

Nvidia Economics: Make $5-$7 for Every $1 Spent on GPUs

June 30, 2024

Nvidia is saying that companies could make $5 to $7 for every $1 invested in GPUs over a four-year period. Customers are investing billions in new Nvidia hardwa Read more…

Nvidia Shipped 3.76 Million Data-center GPUs in 2023, According to Study

June 10, 2024

Nvidia had an explosive 2023 in data-center GPU shipments, which totaled roughly 3.76 million units, according to a study conducted by semiconductor analyst fir Read more…

Some Reasons Why Aurora Didn’t Take First Place in the Top500 List

May 15, 2024

The makers of the Aurora supercomputer, which is housed at the Argonne National Laboratory, gave some reasons why the system didn't make the top spot on the Top Read more…

Nvidia H100: Are 550,000 GPUs Enough for This Year?

August 17, 2023

The GPU Squeeze continues to place a premium on Nvidia H100 GPUs. In a recent Financial Times article, Nvidia reports that it expects to ship 550,000 of its lat Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

AMD Clears Up Messy GPU Roadmap, Upgrades Chips Annually

June 3, 2024

In the world of AI, there's a desperate search for an alternative to Nvidia's GPUs, and AMD is stepping up to the plate. AMD detailed its updated GPU roadmap, w Read more…

Intel’s Next-gen Falcon Shores Coming Out in Late 2025 

April 30, 2024

It's a long wait for customers hanging on for Intel's next-generation GPU, Falcon Shores, which will be released in late 2025.  "Then we have a rich, a very Read more…

Google Announces Sixth-generation AI Chip, a TPU Called Trillium

May 17, 2024

On Tuesday May 14th, Google announced its sixth-generation TPU (tensor processing unit) called Trillium.  The chip, essentially a TPU v6, is the company's l Read more…

Choosing the Right GPU for LLM Inference and Training

December 11, 2023

Accelerating the training and inference processes of deep learning models is crucial for unleashing their true potential and NVIDIA GPUs have emerged as a game- Read more…

IonQ Plots Path to Commercial (Quantum) Advantage

July 2, 2024

IonQ, the trapped ion quantum computing specialist, delivered a progress report last week firming up 2024/25 product goals and reviewing its technology roadmap. Read more…

The NASA Black Hole Plunge

May 7, 2024

We have all thought about it. No one has done it, but now, thanks to HPC, we see what it looks like. Hold on to your feet because NASA has released videos of wh Read more…

Q&A with Nvidia’s Chief of DGX Systems on the DGX-GB200 Rack-scale System

March 27, 2024

Pictures of Nvidia's new flagship mega-server, the DGX GB200, on the GTC show floor got favorable reactions on social media for the sheer amount of computing po Read more…

MLPerf Inference 4.0 Results Showcase GenAI; Nvidia Still Dominates

March 28, 2024

There were no startling surprises in the latest MLPerf Inference benchmark (4.0) results released yesterday. Two new workloads — Llama 2 and Stable Diffusion Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire