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 industy updates delivered to you every week!

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together about 30 participants from industry, government and academia t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Researchers Scale COSMO Climate Code to 4888 GPUs on Piz Daint

October 17, 2017

Effective global climate simulation, sorely needed to anticipate and cope with global warming, has long been computationally challenging. Two of the major obstacles are the needed resolution and prolonged time to compute Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Transforming Genomic Analytics with HPC-Accelerated Insights

Advancements in the field of genomics are revolutionizing our understanding of human biology, rapidly accelerating the discovery and treatment of genetic diseases, and dramatically improving human health. Read more…

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Cluster Competition coverage has come to its natural home: H Read more…

By Dan Olds

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST

October 10, 2017

Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Intel Debuts Programmable Acceleration Card

October 5, 2017

With a view toward supporting complex, data-intensive applications, such as AI inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and genomics, Intel i Read more…

By Doug Black

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

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

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

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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 w Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

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

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

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

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

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 Cente Read more…

By Linda Barney

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