The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

July 8, 2010

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

EPA Launches Environmental Modeling Clearinghouse

Ames Laboratory Wins R&D 100 Award for 3D Virtual Simulation Software

Mississippi State Supercomputer Among World’s Greenest

World-Class Computing Continues to Increase at NDSU

Transaction Processing Performance Council Announces First Results

SC10 Technical Program and Registration Now Live

Rice Program Takes on Protein Puzzle

Internet2 Names New CEO: H. David Lambert

Engineers Learn How to Accelerate Product Design with Advancements in Simulation

NCSA: Sky Yields Big Data

Ateji PX Shakes Up Java Multicore Programming

Saudi Aramco Develops Tool to Rank Your Supercomputer

IBM Supercomputers Are Most Energy Efficient on Green500

National Research and Education Partnership Awarded $62.5M for 100 Gbps Network Backbone

IBM Partners with University of Missouri on Genomics Research Initiative

OCF Upgrades University of Edinburgh’s ‘Eddie’ Supercomputer

UK HPC integrator OCF plc has completed significant upgrades to the University of Edinburg’s HPC system, known as ”Eddie” (get it?). The enhancements have more than doubled the computing power available to multi-disciplinary researchers, enabling them to run more complex computer simulations, more quickly. The new Eddie will benefit innovations in fields such as bioinformatics, speech processing, particle physics, material physics, chemistry, cosmology, medical imaging and psychiatry.

Reflecting a current, and much needed, trend, the new system will generate less heat, despite its increased power, and will actually use less energy than its previous iteration. This is due in part to energy-efficiency upgrades in the Intel Westmere platform, as well as water-cooling features that remove all of the heat generated by the system close to the source. Additionally, the Scottish air helps cool the water year-round.

This is the first UK deployment of Intel’s Westmere E5620 Quad Core processors in IBM iDataPlex servers. According to the press release, the HPC system design incorporates the following:

  • IBM System x iDataPlex servers, running Intel’s latest CPU Westmere E5620 Quad Core processors.
  • 40 TB of high performance data storage using IBM System Storage DS5100 and a combination of fibre channel and solid state drives, fully integrated with an existing 90 TB of SATA storage using IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS).
  • A combination of BLADE Network Technologies GB8124R 24-port 10Gb Ethernet switches and Qlogic 12300 36-port QDR InfiniBand switches, also BLADE Network Technologies G8000 1Gb Ethernet switches.

The new-and-improved Eddie went live this month, and another renovation is already scheduled for  2011, with a plan to increase computing power five-fold. Design, build, configuration, implementation and support of the system upgrade will again be provided by OCF.

First-of-a-Kind Water-Cooling Techology Deployed

For those of you keeping an eye on the novel water-cooling technology that is Aquasar, the system is now fully operational. IBM announced this week that it has delivered an innovative hot water-cooled supercomputer to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). The system, dubbed Aquasar, consumes up to 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine, and by using the waste heat to supply warmth to university buildings, cuts carbon dioxide emissions up to 85 percent.

Aquasar began developement a year ago as part of IBM’s First-Of-A-Kind (FOAK) program. The supercomputer consists of special water-cooled IBM BladeCenter servers and also includes traditional air-cooled IBM BladeCenter servers, to allow for direct comparisons. Together, the system has six teraflops of power and an energy-efficiency of 450 megaflops per watt. Nine kilowatts of thermal power, waste heat from the system, are fed into the ETH Zurich’s building heating system.

Water is an excellent coolant, with the ability to remove heat about 4,000 times more efficiently than air. An overview of the liquid-cooling process is included in the announcement:

The processors and numerous other components in the new high performance computer are cooled with up to 60 degrees C [140 degrees F] warm water. This is made possible by an innovative cooling system that comprises micro-channel liquid coolers which are attached directly to the processors, where most heat is generated. With this chip-level cooling the thermal resistance between the processor and the water is reduced to the extent that even cooling water temperatures of up to 60 degrees C ensure that the operating temperatures of the processors remain well below the maximally allowed 85 degrees C [185 degrees F]. The high input temperature of the coolant results in an even higher-grade heat at the output, which in this case is up to 65 degrees C.

For more information, including a short video, check out a prior announcement here.

Aquasar is installed at the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich.

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ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

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…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

Google I/O 2018: AI Everywhere; TPU 3.0 Delivers 100+ Petaflops but Requires Liquid Cooling

May 9, 2018

All things AI dominated discussion at yesterday’s opening of Google’s I/O 2018 developers meeting covering much of Google's near-term product roadmap. The e Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

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

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

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

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

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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