The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

July 15, 2010

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

Clemson Gets $1.4M to Improve Cyberinfrastructure for SC Researchers

EM Photonics Announces Partnership with PSSC Labs

Purdue’s Coates Cluster Achieves First Ever TOP500 Ranking for 10Gb Ethernet

Wilson Unlocks the Secret of Swerving Soccer Balls Using STAR-CCM+

AccelerEyes’ Jacket Product Family Supports the Latest NVIDIA Fermi GPUs

Internet2, NOAA Partner to Provide New Research Network

Portland Group Releases PGI Visual Fortran for Visual Studio 2010

University of Wales Supercomputing Project to Benefit Welsh Economy

Microsoft Research Illuminates Night Sky and Mars in 3D

RMSC, ESRI Collaborate on HPC Cloud Applications

Intersect360 Research Says HPC Market Will Rebound to $21.8 Billion by 2014

EM Photonics Releases CULA 2.0 to Support Latest Fermi-based NVIDIA GPUs

Graph Theory Predicts Clear Favorite for the FIFA World Cup

NASA Center for Climate Simulation Expands Computational Power

It was just last month that the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) launched under the wing of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. With a mandate to provide “an integrated set of supercomputing, visualization, and data interaction technologies that will enhance agency capabilities in weather and climate prediction research,” the project would need some high-end HPC equipment to do all that heavy lifting. Today Dell revealed its role in expanding the computational capabilities of the climate project. For starters, as part of its estimated $5.1 million contract with Dell, NCCS is experiencing a doubling of its computing power to more than 300 trillion calculations per second. If every person on the planet grabbed a calculator at the same time, they could not match that kind of speed.

The new Dell PowerEdge C6100 servers are customized for high-performance computing environments and will enable NCCS users to fine-tune their climate models. As always, better input equals better output, and greater computing power allows scientists to include more data in their models. When they can add smaller-scale features of the atmosphere and oceans, the models and associated forecasts will be more accurate. The increase in data analysis capacity will serve not only NASA’s earth and space science user community, but the community at large who will receive the benefits of more advanced climate models and climate predictions.

Following a much-needed trend, this increase in system performance is matched with a reduction in energy expenditure compared with previous iterations — improvements of 69 percent in performance and 47 percent in energy efficiency are anticipated.

According to the announcement, the Dell PowerEdge C6100 servers, which debuted this spring, serve a nitch in the both the public and private research sector among groups seeking a balance between performance, initial expenditure and energy efficiency.

Phil Webster, chief of Goddard’s Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office, explained that Dell’s PowerEdge servers were selected based upon both the commitment of Dell to the HPC community and the ability of their systems to scale over time.

Amazon Opens up Cloud to HPC Apps

The big story this week occurs at the intersection of HPC and cloud computing, and has already received signifcant coverage both at HPCwire, here, and in our sister publication, HPC in the Cloud, here. That’s right: I’m talking about Amazon’s just-announced Cluster Compute Instances (CCI) for Amazon EC2.

Released as part of Amazon Web Services, CCI is a new cloud computing instance type that specifically addresses the performance needs of HPC applications. The HPC instance is similar to the already-established EC2 instances, but has been custom-engineered to provide high-end computing power and low-latency networking, opening up the Web services to users with more discerning computational requirements.

Berkeley Lab collaborated with Amazon to test drive their HPC applications on the Cluster Compute Instances, reporting a speedup of 8.5 times when compared to apps run on the general EC2 instance types. As Michael Feldman points out in his feature article, this speedup isn’t really surprising considering the HPC instance’s increased computing power and increased network throughput.

It is worth noting, however, that when Amazon ran the Linpack benchmark on 880 of their Cluster Compute instances (7,040 cores), the performance was measured at 41.82 teraflops. That’s good enough to put the system at the 146th position on the June TOP500 list.

At any rate, this announcement shows a rising confidence level in the market for HPC apps to be run in the cloud. In the four years since Amazon Web Services was launched, it’s progressed from offering run-of-the-mill computing on demand to targeting the more specific needs of complex workloads and network-bound apps. And there’s still plenty of room at the top.

Adaptive Computing, Clustercorp, Cycle Computing, and Univa-UD all support access on EC2’s Cluster Compute Instances. If you would like more information, check out Amazon’s resource page here.

Carnegie Mellon Promotes Computer Science Majors

Kudos to Carnegie Mellon for launching a $7 million inititive to get young students interested in technology. Sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Fostering Innovation through Robotics Exploration (FIRE) is designed to promote interest in computer science by making it fun. And what could be more fun for kids and teens than getting to build your own robot?

From the announcement:

FIRE will develop new tools that enable middle and high school students to expand upon their interest in robots, leading them from one CS-STEM activity to the next. Examples are programming tools that create game-like virtual worlds where robot programs can be tested, as well as computerized tutors that teach mathematics and computer science in the context of robotics.

The number of US college students majoring in computer science, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (CS-STEM) and those with CS-STEM degrees is declining. The statistics for the computer science field are especially troubling — the number of graduates dropped 43 percent from 2004 to 2007, and women and minorities remain underrepresented. Trends like these raise concerns about national competitiveness.

Robin Shoop, director of FIRE and of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy and an international leader in the development of K-12 robotic education curriculum, commented:

“Tens of thousands of students nationwide participate in robotic activities every year, but these activities do not always translate into increases in academic preparation or sustained engagement with CS-STEM. FIRE will provide the infrastructure, the tools, and the resources to significantly engage students for the long term.”

Getting kids in K-12 involved in science and technology and steering them into technology-related majors should be a key priority for every school in this country. It’s heartening to read any news items on this essential topic. More information is available at www.fire.cs.cmu.edu.

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IBM, Nvidia, Stone Ridge Claim Gas & Oil Simulation Record

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IBM, Nvidia, and Stone Ridge Technology today reported setting the performance record for a “billion cell” oil and gas reservoir simulation. Read more…

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ASC17 Makes Splash at Wuxi Supercomputing Center

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HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

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MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

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By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Cori Shows the World How Many-Cores for the Masses Works

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Nvidia P100 Shows 1.3-2.3x Speedup Over K80 GPU on Financial Apps

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Quantum Adds Global Smarts to StorNext File System

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Companies that use Quantum’s StorNext platform to store massive amounts of data this week got a glimpse of new storage capabilities that should make it easier to access their data horde from anywhere in the world. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

ASC17 Makes Splash at Wuxi Supercomputing Center

April 24, 2017

A record-breaking twenty student teams plus scores of company representatives, media professionals, staff and student volunteers transformed a formerly empty hall inside the Wuxi Supercomputing Center into a bustling hub of HPC activity, kicking off day one of 2017 Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of a new generation of chips designed specifically for deep learning workloads. Read more…

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NERSC Cori Shows the World How Many-Cores for the Masses Works

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By Rob Farber

Hyperion (IDC) Paints a Bullish Picture of HPC Future

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By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

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By Tiffany Trader

CERN openlab Explores New CPU/FPGA Processing Solutions

April 14, 2017

Through a CERN openlab project known as the ‘High-Throughput Computing Collaboration,’ researchers are investigating the use of various Intel technologies in data filtering and data acquisition systems. Read more…

By Linda Barney

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

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By Tiffany Trader

Penguin Takes a Run at the Big Cloud Providers

April 12, 2017

HPC specialist Penguin Computing recently re-ran benchmarks from a study of its larger brethren and says the results show its ‘public cloud’ – Penguin on Demand (POD) – is among the leaders in cost and performance. Read more…

By John Russell

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference phase of neural networks (NN). Read more…

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Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

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Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

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Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

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CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

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By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

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TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

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By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

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Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

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By Steve Campbell

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular offerings such as Caffe, Theano, and Torch. Read more…

By John Russell

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

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HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn’t made the task of parallel programming any easier. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

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HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural network training and now they are sharing their implementation with the larger deep learning community. Read more…

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US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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