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!

RSC Reports 500Tflops, Hot Water Cooled System Deployed at JINR

April 18, 2018

RSC, developer of supercomputers and advanced HPC systems based in Russia, today reported deployment of “the world's first 100% ‘hot water’ liquid cooled supercomputer” at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JI Read more…

By Staff

New Device Spots Quantum Particle ‘Fingerprint’

April 18, 2018

Majorana particles have been observed by university researchers employing a device consisting of layers of magnetic insulators on a superconducting material. The advance opens the door to controlling the elusive particle Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’s introduction of an ARM-based system (XC-50) last November. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in Los Angeles. The Read more…

By Staff

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’ Read more…

By John Russell

IBM: Software Ecosystem for OpenPOWER is Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2018

With key pieces of the IBM/OpenPOWER versus Intel/x86 gambit settling into place – e.g., the arrival of Power9 chips and Power9-based systems, hyperscaler sup Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cloud-Readiness and Looking Beyond Application Scaling

April 11, 2018

There are two aspects to consider when determining if an application is suitable for running in the cloud. The first, which we will discuss here under the title Read more…

By Chris Downing

Transitioning from Big Data to Discovery: Data Management as a Keystone Analytics Strategy

April 9, 2018

The past 10-15 years has seen a stark rise in the density, size, and diversity of scientific data being generated in every scientific discipline in the world. Key among the sciences has been the explosion of laboratory technologies that generate large amounts of data in life-sciences and healthcare research. Large amounts of data are now being stored in very large storage name spaces, with little to no organization and a general unease about how to approach analyzing it. Read more…

By Ari Berman, BioTeam, Inc.

IBM Expands Quantum Computing Network

April 5, 2018

IBM is positioning itself as a first mover in establishing the era of commercial quantum computing. The company believes in order for quantum to work, taming qu Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

FY18 Budget & CORAL-2 – Exascale USA Continues to Move Ahead

April 2, 2018

It was not pretty. However, despite some twists and turns, the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget is complete and ended with some very positi Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

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

Leading Solution Providers

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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