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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UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding on January 10. The MOU represents the continuation of a 1 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 Tennessee), Satoshi Matsuoka (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Read more…

By John Russell

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 and Spectre security updates on the performance of popular H Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and NREL Take Steps to Create a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Data Center with an H2 Fuel Cell

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Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension around the potential changes that could affect or disrupt Lustre Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understandi 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

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

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension aroun Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

When the Chips Are Down

January 11, 2018

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By Dairsie Latimer

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…

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Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

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By Alex R. Larzelere

ANL’s Rick Stevens on CANDLE, ARM, Quantum, and More

January 8, 2018

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By John Russell

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

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By Tiffany Trader

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

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AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

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By John Russell

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…

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IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a 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

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

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

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

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Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

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Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in 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

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

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