The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

November 4, 2010

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

SDSC Part of DARPA Program to Deliver Extreme Scale Supercomputer

NASA to Demo 40/100-Gigabit Networking at SC10

Large Hadron Collider Pauses Protons, Looks Ahead to Lead

QLogic, Platform Computing Integrate Management Software

SGI Unveils Performance and Managment Software Suites

University of Texas at Austin Breaks Ground on Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Hall

Altair Unveils PBS Professional 11.0

SCinet Research Sandbox to Demonstrate Unprecedented HPC Industry Collaboration

Supercomputer Models Yield Sneak Previews of NASA’s Webb Space Telescope

EU Launches Project to Develop Technologies for Heterogeneous Platforms

‘Big Data’ Supercomputing Analytics Becomes Focus for New Company

Mechdyne CAVE To Be Featured on Discovery Science Channel

Swedish Bank Deploys Middleware from Platform Computing

HPC Advisory Council Reaches Publication of over 50 Best Practices and Guidelines

IBM Awards Powerful Computing System to University of Lugano

Johns Hopkins Builds Data Mining Super Machine

While most supercomputing designs nowadays are focused on achieving a maximum number of FLOPS (floating point operations per second), researchers at Johns Hopkins University are designing a scientific instrument that will enable a maximum number of IOPS (I/O operations per second). This novel architecture will be better suited to analyzing the enormous amounts of data that today’s science generates.

Dubbed the Data-Scope, the machine is currently being developed by a group led by computer scientist and astrophysicist Alexander Szalay of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science. The National Science Foundation is providing funding in the form of a $2.1 million grant and Johns Hopkins is contributing nearly $1 million to the project.

According to Szalay:

“Computer science has drastically changed the way we do science and the science that we do, and the Data-Scope is a crucial step in this process. At this moment, the huge data sets are here, but we lack an integrated software and hardware infrastructure to analyze them. Data-Scope will bridge that gap.”

Data-Scope’s design will include a combination of hard disk drives, solid state disks, and GPU computing, enabling it to handle five petabytes of data, with a sequential I/O bandwidth close to 500 gigabytes per second, and a peak performance of 600 teraflops. The machine will be adept at data mining, able to discern relationships and patterns in data leading to discoveries that would otherwise not be possible.

There is already a backlog of data just waiting to be analyzed — three petabytes worth from about 20 interested research groups within Johns Hopkins. Szalay explains that without Data-Scope, the researchers would have to wait years in order to analyze the data already in existence, never mind the data that will keep accumulating in the meantime.

Data-Scope is expected to being operation in May 2011 and will handle a range of subject matter, including genomics, ocean circulation, turbulence, astrophysics, environmental science, and public health.

Szalay underscores the importance of the project:

“There really is nothing like this at any university right now. Such systems usually take many years to build up, but we are doing it much more quickly. It’s similar to what Google is doing — of course on a thousand-times-larger scale than we are. This instrument will be the best in the academic world, bar none.”

Appro Outfits LLNL with Visualization Cluster

This week Appro launched its Appro HyperPower Clusters, providing Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Computing Center with a new visualization cluster called “Edge.” The cluster is based on the Appro CPU/GPU GreenBlade System and is designed to support I/O bound applications, such as advanced data analysis and visualization tasks. It will also be used for LLNL’s exascale software development computing projects.

The system’s six racks house a total of 216 CPU nodes sporting Six-Core Intel Xeon processors and 208 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs nodes, delivering 29 teraflops of computing power. The system’s 20 terabytes of memory provide the increased level of I/O bandwidth needed for data analysis and complex visualization projects. QDR InfiniBand fabric connects the compute and graphic nodes.

According to Trent D’Hooge, a cluster integration lead at LLNL, Edge is the first data analysis cluster that has GPUs with ECC support and increased double-precision floating point performance.

Becky Springmeyer, computational systems and software environment lead of the Advanced Simulation and Computing program at LLNL, explains that ”post-processing tasks are heavily I/O bound, so specialized visualization servers that optimize I/O rather than CPU speed are better suited for this work, which will be now enabled through the ‘Edge’ cluster.”

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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

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…

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

April 24, 2017

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Musk’s Latest Startup Eyes Brain-Computer Links

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HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Remote Visualization Optimizing Life Sciences Operations and Care Delivery

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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

April 21, 2017

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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

April 20, 2017

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

April 21, 2017

As its mission, the high performance computing center for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, NERSC (the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center), supports a broad spectrum of forefront scientific research across diverse areas that includes climate, material science, chemistry, fusion energy, high-energy physics and many others. Read more…

By Rob Farber

Hyperion (IDC) Paints a Bullish Picture of HPC Future

April 20, 2017

Hyperion Research – formerly IDC’s HPC group – yesterday painted a fascinating and complicated portrait of the HPC community’s health and prospects at the HPC User Forum held in Albuquerque, NM. HPC sales are up and growing ($22 billion, all HPC segments, 2016). Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

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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

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

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…

By John Russell

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

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. 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

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

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

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

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…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

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

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

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…

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…

By Tiffany Trader

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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