The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

October 14, 2010

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

Teams Gear Up for SC10 Student Cluster Competition

Ixia’s High Speed Ethernet Test Solutions Validate Mellanox ConnectX-2 NIC

Astronomer Employs HPC to Peer into Cosmic Mysteries

Nimbis Services Announces Cloud Services for Mathematica

Extreme Networks, SARA and CERN Complete First Long-Haul 40 GbE Link Across Europe

Ontario Advanced Network First to Launch Operational 100G Network

NOAA Establishes Supercomputing Center in West Virginia

Platform Computing, Excelian Partner to Deliver High Performance Analytics for Financial Services

AMAX Partners with Bright Computing to Maximize HPC Throughput

Ciena, Mellanox, SURFnet and University of Amsterdam Complete 40 Gbps, Long-Haul Optics Demonstration

Intel Reports First $11 Billion Revenue Quarter

SGI Announces Support and Record Benchmarks for VoltDB Database

Appro HF1 Server Targets High Frequency Traders

NEC Selects PBS Works as the Workload Management Tool for TSUBAME 2.0

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Boots Up ‘Blacklight’

Nimbis Services Launches HPC Workbook for Desktop Users

Deterministic Parallel Java Brings Safety and Modularity to Parallel Programming

Multicore Processors Key to Increasing Flexibility in High-Performance Networking, Report Finds

BLADE Switch Delivers One Terabit of Throughput

Switch maker BLADE Network Technologies (BLADE) today unveiled the RackSwitch G8264, a single-chip 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) top-of-rack switch. The switch delivers more than one terabit of low-latency throughput to the datacenter. This is the first time that a single-chip switch is available for terabit-scale deployment of 10GbE.

The new switch touts 64-10GbE ports, up to four-40GbE ports and 1.28 terabits of non-blocking throughput. Designed to handle I/O-intensive and highly virtualized workloads, the switch is well suited for HPC clusters, cloud computing, and algorithmic trading.

BLADE is aiming to fulfill the needs of mainstream enterprise datacenters, which are responding to increased data demands by increasingly deploying servers equipped with 10GbE. BLADE is going forward with the belief that 40GbE is the next logical step. Higher speed uplinks, such as 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet switches, will be required to handle the increased network bandwidth of the next-generation of datacenters.

According to Vikram Mehta, president and CEO, BLADE Network Technologies:

“BLADE is proud to break the terabit barrier in a single-chip design with the RackSwitch G8264. Our new switch is designed for today’s most demanding requirements at the datacenter edge to interconnect highly utilized servers equipped with 10 Gigabit Ethernet and provide seamless migration to 40 Gigabit upstream networks.”

The RackSwitch G8264 will be available in November at a cost of $22,500 USD. Interested parties can view the product at the upcoming Supercomputing Conference (SC10).2

UC Riverside Physicists Advance Spin Computing

“Spin computing” — aka “spintronics” offers great potential for the future of computing — think superfast computers that can overcome present Moore’s Law limitations while using less energy and generating less heat than the current batch of number crunchers.

Here’s how it works: electrons can be polarized so that they have a particular directional orientation, called spin. An electron can either be polarized so attain two states, called “spin up” or “spin down.” Storing data with spin would effectively double the amount of data a computer could store since it allows two pieces of data to be stored on an electron instead of just one, as is currently the case.

While researchers have been working on the technology for about four decades, it’s not quite ready for primetime. This week, however, Physicists at the University of California, Riverside have taken spintronics to the next level by successfully achieving “tunneling spin injection” into graphene. Their study results appear this week in Physical Review Letters.

From the announcement:

Tunneling spin injection is a term used to describe conductivity through an insulator. Graphene, brought into the limelight by this year’s Nobel Prize in physics, is a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arrayed in a honeycomb pattern. Extremely strong and flexible, it is a good conductor of electricity and capable of resisting heat.

While graphene has characteristics that make it a very promising candidate for use in spin computers, the electrical spin injection from a ferromagnetic electrode into graphene is inefficient. Additionally, and even more troubling to the research team, observed spin lifetimes are thousands of times shorter than expected theoretically. Longer spin lifetimes are important because they allow for more computational operations.

The research team, led by Roland Kawakami, an associate professor of physics and astronomy, was able to dramatically increase the spin injection efficiency by inserting an insulating layer, known as a “tunnel barrier,” in between the electrode and the graphene layer. The team thus achieved the first demonstration of tunneling spin injection into graphene, and the 30-fold increase spin injection efficiency set a world record.

The Kawakami lab was also to reconcile the short spin lifetimes of electrons in graphene. They discovered that using the tunnel barrier increased the spin lifetime. According to Kawakami, graphene has the potential for extremely long spin lifetimes.

The next step for the Kawakami lab is to demonstrate a working spin logic device. Ultimately, a chip capable of manipulating the spin of a single electron could pave the way for futuristic quantum computers.

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ExxonMobil, NCSA, Cray Scale Reservoir Simulation to 700,000+ Processors

February 17, 2017

In a scaling breakthrough for oil and gas discovery, ExxonMobil geoscientists report they have harnessed the power of 717,000 processors – the equivalent of 22,000 32-processor computers – to run complex oil and gas reservoir simulation models. Read more…

By Doug Black

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

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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…

By Tiffany Trader

Drug Developers Use Google Cloud HPC in the Fight Against ALS

February 16, 2017

Within the haystack of a lethal disease such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / Lou Gehrig’s Disease) there exists, somewhere, the needle that will pierce this therapy-resistant affliction. Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Object Storage is the Ideal Storage Method for CME Companies

The communications, media, and entertainment (CME) sector is experiencing a massive paradigm shift driven by rising data volumes and the demand for high-performance data analytics. Read more…

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Feb. 16, 2017)

February 16, 2017

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

Alexander Named Dep. Dir. of Brookhaven Computational Initiative

February 15, 2017

Francis Alexander, a physicist with extensive management and leadership experience in computational science research, has been named Deputy Director of the Computational Science Initiative at the U.S. Read more…

Here’s What a Neural Net Looks Like On the Inside

February 15, 2017

Ever wonder what the inside of a machine learning model looks like? Today Graphcore released fascinating images that show how the computational graph concept maps to a new graph processor and graph programming framework it’s creating. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Azure Edges AWS in Linpack Benchmark Study

February 15, 2017

The “when will clouds be ready for HPC” question has ebbed and flowed for years. Read more…

By John Russell

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

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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…

By Tiffany Trader

Drug Developers Use Google Cloud HPC in the Fight Against ALS

February 16, 2017

Within the haystack of a lethal disease such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / Lou Gehrig’s Disease) there exists, somewhere, the needle that will pierce this therapy-resistant affliction. Read more…

By Doug Black

Azure Edges AWS in Linpack Benchmark Study

February 15, 2017

The “when will clouds be ready for HPC” question has ebbed and flowed for years. Read more…

By John Russell

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling was pretty much the exclusive realm of the Cray-2 and IBM mainframe class products. That’s changing. We are now seeing an emergence of x86 class server products with exotic plumbing technology ranging from Direct-to-Chip to servers and storage completely immersed in a dielectric fluid. Read more…

By Steve Campbell

Cray Posts Best-Ever Quarter, Visibility Still Limited

February 10, 2017

On its Wednesday earnings call, Cray announced the largest revenue quarter in the company’s history and the second-highest revenue year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Cloud Startup Launches ‘App Store’ for HPC Workflows

February 9, 2017

“Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel and Trump Announce $7B for Fab 42 Targeting 7nm

February 8, 2017

In what may be an attempt by President Trump to reset his turbulent relationship with the high tech industry, he and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich today announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42. Read more…

By John Russell

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

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

D-Wave SC16 Update: What’s Bo Ewald Saying These Days

November 18, 2016

Tucked in a back section of the SC16 exhibit hall, quantum computing pioneer D-Wave has been talking up its new 2000-qubit processor announced in September. Forget for a moment the criticism sometimes aimed at D-Wave. This small Canadian company has sold several machines including, for example, ones to Lockheed and NASA, and has worked with Google on mapping machine learning problems to quantum computing. In July Los Alamos National Laboratory took possession of a 1000-quibit D-Wave 2X system that LANL ordered a year ago around the time of SC15. Read more…

By John Russell

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Dell Knights Landing Machine Sets New STAC Records

November 2, 2016

The Securities Technology Analysis Center, commonly known as STAC, has released a new report characterizing the performance of the Knight Landing-based Dell PowerEdge C6320p server on the STAC-A2 benchmarking suite, widely used by the financial services industry to test and evaluate computing platforms. The Dell machine has set new records for both the baseline Greeks benchmark and the large Greeks benchmark. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

What Knights Landing Is Not

June 18, 2016

As we get ready to launch the newest member of the Intel Xeon Phi family, code named Knights Landing, it is natural that there be some questions and potentially some confusion. Read more…

By James Reinders, Intel

KNUPATH Hermosa-based Commercial Boards Expected in Q1 2017

December 15, 2016

Last June tech start-up KnuEdge emerged from stealth mode to begin spreading the word about its new processor and fabric technology that’s been roughly a decade in the making. Read more…

By John Russell

Intel and Trump Announce $7B for Fab 42 Targeting 7nm

February 8, 2017

In what may be an attempt by President Trump to reset his turbulent relationship with the high tech industry, he and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich today announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42. Read more…

By John Russell

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