The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

September 9, 2010

Dell HPC Solutions Enable Research from Leading Higher Education, Government and Industry Labs

NASA High-End Computing Testbed Runs over National LambdaRail

Fujitsu SynfiniWay V4 Enables Distributed HPC

Solarflare Announces New Value-Added Reseller Program

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Launches New Industrial Affiliates Program

Acceleware, Microsoft Announce CUDA/OpenCL Fall 2010 Training Schedule

Solarflare Announces New Midrange Server Adapters

Appro Deploys 324-node/100 Teraflops System to San Diego Supercomputing Center

Latest Xilinx FPGA Gets NSA Approval for High-Grade Cryptographic Processing

Oracle Hires Mark Hurd as President

Infinera Partners in US UCAN Broadband Network

University at Buffalo Selects XtremeData’s dbX Data Warehousing Appliance

IBM to Ship World’s Fastest Microprocessor

MathWorks Announces Release 2010b of the MATLAB and Simulink Product Families

Computing for Clean Water

Volunteer computing is still going strong as evidenced by an announcement this week from IBM’s World Community Grid. The worldwide network of personal computers is being used in several projects all focused on developing techniques that will lead to better water quality. These projects could not be more timely or necessary as clean water is in desperately short supply for over 1.2 billion people.

From the release:

To accelerate the pace, lower the expense, and increase the precision of these projects, scientists will harness the IBM-supported World Community Grid to perform online simulations, crunch numbers, and pose hypothetical scenarios. The processing power is provided by a grid of 1.5 million PCs from 600,000 volunteers around the world. These PCs perform computations for scientists when the machines would otherwise be underutilized. Scientists also use World Community Grid — equivalent to one of the world’s fastest supercomputers — to engineer cleaner energy, cure disease and produce healthier food staples.

One initiative aims to find ways to filter pathogens that cause disease from the water and another is trying to uncover how human behaviors affect water quality. Another group, based in Brazil, is looking to cure schistosomiasis, a parasite-based disease found in tropical regions and spread by contaminated water.

Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, commented on the program:

“I can think of few endeavors more important than making sure people across the globe have ready access to clean water. I would even suggest that it’s a basic human right, and a hallmark of sophisticated and compassionate societies everywhere. That’s why IBM is so incredibly proud to help scientists harness the resources of World Community Grid to make strides in this vital arena.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The World Community grid relies on the unused cycles of its volunteers’ computers to help solve humanitarian projects. If you’d like to add your computer to this project, sign up at www.worldcommunitygrid.org.

China’s First Petaflop System Up and Running

People’s Daily reported late last week that China’s first petaflop supercomputer is now fully assembled and running at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin. Named Tianhe-1, which means River in the Sky, the system is scheduled to undergo debugging and testing this month.

The supercomputer, housed 13 computer cabinets, employs a hybrid design, where GPUs are used as accelerators. Its 2,560 compute nodes each contain two Xeon processors and two AMD GPUs, for a total of 71,680 cores. (For a deeper explanation of core counts, check out this blog.) Tianhe-1 achieves Linpack values of 563.1 sustained teraflops and 1.2 petaflops peak theoretical performance.

The article gives a real world comparison of all that computing power:

One second of calculations conducted by Tianhe-1 is equivalent to 88 consecutive years of calculations by 1.3 billion people, and the data that the supercomputer can store is equivalent to the sum of the collections in four national libraries with 27 million books each.

Tianhe-1 was developed by the Changsha-based National University of Defense Technology in 2009 and is China’s first domestically-made petaflop supercomputer. It was ranked seventh on the latest TOP500 list. The machine will be used for a variety of high-performance applications in the fields of animation and rendering, biomedical research, aircraft simulation, petroleum exploration, data analysis for financial engineering, weather forecasting, and general science.

If you’re still craving deeper insight into the Tianhe-1, there’s a good primer at the TOP500 site, here.

Myricom Gets New CEO

This week Myricom announced that it had named co-founder Nanette (Nan) Boden as president and chief executive officer. Boden was promoted from her position as CFO, and replaces Chuck Seitz, another of Myricom’s founders.

From the release:

Since helping found Myricom in 1994, Nan Boden has participated in nearly every aspect of Myricom’s operations. She was named Executive Vice President in 1999, CFO in 2001, and CEO in 2010. Nan has been a member of Myricom’s Board of Directors since 2001. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and her B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Alabama.

Myricom, a Caltech spin-off, made its foray into the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) field providing HPC interconnect technology for high-end clusters and supercomputers, but has since branched out into more mainstream networking applications. With its fourth generation of networking products, Myri-10G, the company delivers 10GbE solutions for specialized vertical markets, such as financial trading, packet capture, video streaming and IPTV, and HPC.

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Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is stepping down after two years to return to Argonne National L Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles the agenda addresse Read more…

By Merle Giles

NSF Awards $10M to Extend Chameleon Cloud Testbed Project

September 19, 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded a second phase, $10 million grant to the Chameleon cloud computing testbed project led by University of Chicago with partners at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Ren Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Prepares Customers for Success with the HPC Software Portfolio

High performance computing (HPC) software is key to harnessing the full power of HPC environments. Development and management tools enable IT departments to streamline installation and maintenance of their systems as well as create, optimize, and run their HPC applications. Read more…

NERSC Simulations Shed Light on Fusion Reaction Turbulence

September 19, 2017

Understanding fusion reactions in detail – particularly plasma turbulence – is critical to the effort to bring fusion power to reality. Recent work including roughly 70 million hours of compute time at the National E Read more…

Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is s Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blu Read more…

By Merle Giles

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

September 15, 2017

On Friday, Sept. 8, Kathy Yelick of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote address on “Breakt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Pledges Another $300 Million for Post-Moore’s Readiness

September 14, 2017

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a giant funding effort to ensure the United States can sustain the pace of electronic innovation vital to both a flourishing economy and a secure military. Under the banner of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), some $500-$800 million will be invested in post-Moore’s Law technologies. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Breaks Ground for Complex Quantum Chemistry

September 14, 2017

IBM has reported the use of a novel algorithm to simulate BeH2 (beryllium-hydride) on a quantum computer. This is the largest molecule so far simulated on a quantum computer. The technique, which used six qubits of a seven-qubit system, is an important step forward and may suggest an approach to simulating ever larger molecules. Read more…

By John Russell

Cubes, Culture, and a New Challenge: Trish Damkroger Talks about Life at Intel—and Why HPC Matters More Than Ever

September 13, 2017

Trish Damkroger wasn’t looking to change jobs when she attended SC15 in Austin, Texas. Capping a 15-year career within Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories, she was acting Associate Director for Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Her mission was to equip the lab’s scientists and research partners with resources that would advance their cutting-edge work... Read more…

By Jan Rowell

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

MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab Targets Algorithms, AI Physics

September 7, 2017

Investment continues to flow into artificial intelligence research, especially in key areas such as AI algorithms that promise to move the technology from speci Read more…

By George Leopold

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

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

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

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

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces 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

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

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

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

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

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

GlobalFoundries: 7nm Chips Coming in 2018, EUV in 2019

June 13, 2017

GlobalFoundries has formally announced that its 7nm technology is ready for customer engagement with product tape outs expected for the first half of 2018. The Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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