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

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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AI-Focused ‘Genius’ Supercomputer Installed at KU Leuven

April 24, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has deployed a new approximately half-petaflops supercomputer, named Genius, at Flemish research university KU Leuven. The system is built to run artificial intelligence (AI) workloads and, as Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Exascale System for Earth Simulation Introduced

April 23, 2018

After four years of development, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) will be unveiled today and released to the broader scientific community this month. The E3SM project is supported by the Department of Energy Read more…

By Staff

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

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Hybrid HPC is Speeding Time to Insight and Revolutionizing Medicine

High performance computing (HPC) is a key driver of success in many verticals today, and health and life science industries are extensively leveraging these capabilities. Read more…

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

AI-Focused ‘Genius’ Supercomputer Installed at KU Leuven

April 24, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has deployed a new approximately half-petaflops supercomputer, named Genius, at Flemish research university KU Leuven. The system is Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

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

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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