The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

December 2, 2010

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

German GPU-CPU Supercomputer Managed with Bright Cluster Manager

T-Platforms to Build Russia’s First Petaflops Supercomputer

HyperTransport Consortium Unveils HyperShare Platform

CERN Selects Brocade to Bolster Network Performance and Support Growth Plans

Scientists Ratchet Up Understanding of Cellular Protein Factory

AMD and Industry Leaders Demonstrate ATI FirePro Professional Graphics Momentum at Autodesk University 2010

Jaguar Pounces on Child Predators

Argonne Selects Allinea Software to Improve Debugging Performance Scalability on Blue Gene/P

RenderStream Announces 12 Teraflop Systems

Siemens Intends to Intensify the Development of Industrial Software

Mellanox to Acquire Voltaire for $218 Million

Blue Waters Staff, Partners Bring Home Awards from SC10

Short, On-Chip Light Pulses Will Enable Ultrafast Data Transfer Within Computers

Cancer Research UK, Imperial College London Celebrate HPC Supercomputing Successes

Startup Dezineforce Launches ‘Black Box’ Technical Computing Server

2010 INCITE Awards Announced

The 2010 “INCITE” Program awards were announced this week, and they’re the largest yet — nearly 1.7 billion processor hours on the Department of Energy’s world-class supercomputers will be shared among 57 research projects. This year’s INCITE program brings us a step closer to scientific breakthroughs in biofuels, nuclear power, medicine and climate change. To help explain the significance of the award to the non-technical among us, the announcement cited a combined computing power equal to 135,000 quad-core laptops. The 57 winning applicants will be able to perform simulations and virtual experiments that would otherwise be impractical in the “real” world.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who announced the awards, made the following statement: “The Department of Energy’s supercomputers provide an enormous competitive advantage for the United States. This is a great example of how investments in innovation can help lead the way to new industries, new jobs, and new opportunities for America to succeed in the global marketplace.”

The projects include both academic and commercial endeavors. Partnerships with companies such as GE and Boeing are in place that use advanced computer modeling for the development of better wind turbines and jet engines. Other projects will work toward designing more efficient solar cells, developing fusion energy systems, and increasing the effectiveness of medications for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

The Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program is the U.S. government’s premier supercomputing allocation. It is open to all scientists and projects are selected competitively based on their potential to advance scientific discovery. INCITE is supported by the DOE’s Office of Science and managed by the DOE Leadership Computing Facilities at the Department’s Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been awarded 950 million processor hours and will host thirty projects with the power of the Jaguar supercomputer, a Cray XT5 capable of 2.33 petaflops of peak performance power.

Four projects from Argonne National Laboratory have been awarded a total of 65 million hours of computing time on Argonne’s Blue Gene/P (“Intrepid”) supercomputer. As well, Argonne scientists will participate in six other projects (led by other instutions).

Going back to the laptop comparison, Jaguar has a computational capacity of approximately 109,000 laptops, and Intrepid is roughly equivalent to 26,000 laptops.

OLCF Director of Science Bronson Messer, remarked on the high quality of the submissions: “This year’s group of proposals was probably the best we’ve seen to date. The final list of awardees is a collection of projects that we believe will have remarkably high scientific impact through the use of leadership computing resources.”

A detailed listing of awards is available here (PDF).

Optical Chip Technology from IBM Could Be Key Exascale Enabler

IBM researchers have announced a breakthrough that allows computer chips to communicate using pulses of light instead of electrical signals. The new technology — called CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics — integrates electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon, resulting in smaller, faster and more power-efficient processors.

Nanoscale silicon photonics offers immense technical advantages over current copper interconnect technologies and promises to meet the increasing bandwidth demands of high-performance computing systems. Indeed, this latest advance could hold the key to exascale computing – supercomputers that are one thousand times faster than today’s petasflop-level machines.

This breakthrough comes after a decade of development at IBM’s global Research laboratories and signals a new era in chip communication. Placing optical devices and functions directly onto a silicon chip offers more than 10X improvement in integration density over current technologies. What’s more, the new chips can be manufactured in a standard CMOS foundry and do not require any special tools, making it cost-effective.

Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president of Science and Technology at IBM Research, reports:

“The development of the Silicon Nanophotonics technology brings the vision of on-chip optical interconnections much closer to reality. With optical communications embedded into the processor chips, the prospect of building power-efficient computer systems with performance at the exaflop level is one step closer to reality.”

In an article at PCWorld, Will Green, a silicon photonics research scientist at IBM, reported that this latest breakthrough puts IBM on course to building an exascale computer by 2020.

Dr. Yurii A. Vlasov, manager of the Silicon Nanophotonics Department at IBM Research, offers more details:

“Our CMOS Integrated Nanophotonics breakthrough promises unprecedented increases in silicon chip function and performance via ubiquitous low-power optical communications between racks, modules, chips or even within a single chip itself. The next step in this advancement is to establishing manufacturability of this process in a commercial foundry using IBM deeply scaled CMOS processes.”

IBM’s stated goal is to integrate ultra-compact nanophotonic circuits onto the die to allow for the manipulation of light signals similar to the way electrical signals are manipulated in computer chips. The end game here is the creation of a 3D-integrated chip, a viable next-generation chip technology that promises to postpone the much-prophesized death of Moore’s Law.

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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

IDC: Will the Real Exascale Race Please Stand Up?

February 21, 2017

So the exascale race is on. And lots of organizations are in the pack. Government announcements from the US, China, India, Japan, and the EU indicate that they are working hard to make it happen – some sooner, some later. Read more…

By Bob Sorensen, IDC

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

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

O&G Companies Create Value with High Performance Remote Visualization

Today’s oil and gas (O&G) companies are striving to process datasets that have become not only tremendously large, but extremely complex. And the larger that data becomes, the harder it is to move and analyze it – particularly with a workforce that could be distributed between drilling sites, offshore rigs, and remote offices. Read more…

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

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…

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

IDC: Will the Real Exascale Race Please Stand Up?

February 21, 2017

So the exascale race is on. And lots of organizations are in the pack. Government announcements from the US, China, India, Japan, and the EU indicate that they are working hard to make it happen – some sooner, some later. Read more…

By Bob Sorensen, IDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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