The Weekly Top Five

By Tiffany Trader

February 10, 2011

The Weekly Top Five features the five biggest HPC stories of the week, condensed for your reading pleasure. This week, we cover Argonne’s new 10-petaflop supercomputer, big rig aerodynamics, Austria’s new 150-teraflop supercomputer, Whamcloud’s partnership with Bull, and Bright Computing’s deal with Dell.

10 Petaflop IBM Supercomputer on Order at Argonne Lab

IBM has been selected to build a 10-petaflop supercomputer for Argonne National Laboratory. The advanced computing machine, named “Mira,” will boost researchers’ ability to tackle advanced scientific challenges with real-world significance. Projects at the top of Mira’s to-do list include designing ultra-efficient batteries for the next generation of electric cars, modeling detailed climate change scenarios and simulating the beginnings of the universe.

The IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer sports more than 750,000 cores and uses advanced chip designs and energy-efficient water cooling. With 10 petaflops of processing power, Mira is 20 times faster than Argonne’s current supercomputer, Intrepid.

According to Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for computing, environment and life sciences at Argonne National Laboratory, the new supercomputer “will help address the critical demand for complex modeling and simulation capabilities, which are essential to improving our economic prosperity and global competitiveness.”

Argonne sees Mira as a stepping stone to exascale computing, machines that will be 100 times more powerful (than Mira). According to the release, “Mira will offer an opportunity for scientists to become more familiar with the capabilities an exascale machine will offer and the programming changes it will require. For example, scientists will have to scale their current computer codes to more than 750,000 individual computing cores, providing them preliminary experience on how scalability might be achieved on an exascale-class system with 100s of millions of cores.”

When Mira comes online in 2012, scientists around the world, from industry, academia and government research labs, will be given the opportunity to apply for time through the DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) and the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) programs.

Additional in-depth coverage of Mira is available here.

ORNL’s Jaguar Supercomputer Helps Big Rigs Go Farther

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jaguar supercomputer is being used to improve the aerodynamics of long haul tractor trailers, and in the process save billions of gallons of fuel each year. South Carolina-based BMI Corp. partnered with ORNL researchers to develop the SmartTruck UnderTray System, “a set of integrated aerodynamic fairings that improve the aerodynamics of 18-wheeler (Class 8) long-haul trucks.” After installation, the typical big rig can expect to achieve a fuel savings of between 7 and 12 percent.

With Jaguar, the time it took BMI to process its complex models was reduced from days to hours, and the system’s advanced simulation capabilities obviated the need for time-consuming and costly physical prototypes. The time-savings meant the company was able to finish the project two years ahead of schedule, going from concept to production in 18 months instead of the 3 1/2 years they had originally anticipated.

The technology has significant financial and environmental implications. Mike Henderson, chief executive officer and founder of BMI, noted that if all 1.3 million Class 8 trucks in the US were outfitted with the basic UnderTray package, the average fuel economy would go from 6 mpg up to 6.5 mpg or more, saving the companies 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel and $5 billion in fuel costs each year. Better fuel efficiency means fewer CO2 emissions as well, 32.7 billion pounds or 16.4 million tons fewer.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu commented on the success of the collaboration, which was made possible through ORNL’s Industrial High-Performance Computing Partnerships Program:

“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 jobs, new ways of cutting our carbon emissions and new opportunities for America to succeed in the global marketplace.”

Austrian Universities to Share New Supercomputer

MEGWARE, a leading German IT company, has been selected to build Austria’s fastest supercomputer at a cost of EUR 4.2 million. The computer will be used by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology, the University of Vienna and the University for Soil Management. A Europe-wide tender process called for a “first-class energy efficiency of the entire system and an enormously high raw data throughput.” The universities chose MEGWARE based on the merits of the company’s design and its comittment to using energy-efficient technology.

The 150-teraflop supercomputer, which will be known as “Vienna Scientific Cluster 2” (VSC-2), will provide Vienna scientists with the power to make important scientific advances. VSC-2 includes more than 1,300 MAGWARE-designed servers, each of which is equipped with two AMD Opteron Magny Cours 6132HE processors, providing the machine with 21,000-plus processsor cores.

The new supercomputer will have a signicant lead on its predecessor, VSC. With 150-teraflops, the new system will be five times more powerful. VSC-2 is also more energy-efficient, employing state-of-the-art water cooling technology to reduce power demands.

MEGWARE representative Jörg Heydemüller expressed satisfaction with the project: “The fact that this significant IT order was awarded to a company from Chemnitz is very important for the location. It shows again the historic links existing between the Free State of Saxony and the microelectronic industry, as the project is implemented with the exclusive use of processors made by AMD.”

Bull, Whamcloud Share Lustre Dreams

Whamcloud’s busy Lustre devotees have joined with European IT vendor Bull to advance the Lustre cause. The duo have formed a strategic partnership towards developing open-source file system and contributing the improvements back to the community. According to Whamcloud, the company’s shared goal is to prepare Lustre to become a file system of choice for exascale systems.

Eric Monchalin, HPC software director at Bull, comments on the company’s involvement, “Bull has been integrating Lustre in its Extreme Computing solutions for many years, and our experts are regular contributors to the evolution of the Lustre file system. Whamcloud has gathered some of the top talents of the Lustre ecosystem. This combination of Bull and Whamcloud skills will allow our customers to continue to get the best performance out of Lustre, while being assured that the file system they chose is fully maintained and supported.”

Whamcloud CEO Brent Gorda expressed excitement about the opportunity to partner with Bull, and looks forward to “driving IO and storage development worldwide in an open-source, hardware-agnostic environment.”

Bright Cluster Joins Dell’s HPC Family

Bright Computing announced this week that its cluster management software, Bright Cluster Manager, would now be an option on Dell’s High Performance Computing Clusters (HPCC). There are already more than 50 Dell installations around the world using Bright Cluster Manager, including three TOP500 sites. Other sites include a number of universities, businesses, and government research centers.

CD-adapco uses the combined solution to run its engineering applications, and IT director Philip Jones is pleased with the product’s performance: “Bright Cluster Manager is a comprehensive cluster management solution that provides all the functionality that we need here at CD-adapco. Our key applications — STAR-CCM+ and STAR-CD — were easy to install and run well on the cluster. Bright Cluster Manager has many features that make it easy for us to manage the cluster and allow us to focus on running our CFD and CAE applications. For example, the image based provisioning makes it very easy to tailor software images and propagate changes to the compute nodes.”

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

What’s New in HPC Research: September (Part 1)

September 18, 2018

In this new bimonthly feature, HPCwire will highlight newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Check back every Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and development. Among other things it would establish a National Quantu Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU--and a refresh of its inference server software packaged as Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

A Crystal Ball for HPC

People are notoriously bad at predicting the future.  This very much includes experts. In the Forbes article “Why Most Predictions Are So Bad” Philip Tetlock discusses the largest and best-known test of the accuracy of expert predictions which show that any experts would do better if they make random guesses. Read more…

NSF Highlights Expanded Efforts for Broadening Participation in Computing

September 13, 2018

Today, the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) of the NSF released a letter highlighting the expansion of its broadening participation in computing efforts. The letter was penned by Jam Read more…

By Staff

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU- Read more…

By George Leopold

DeepSense Combines HPC and AI to Bolster Canada’s Ocean Economy

September 13, 2018

We often hear scientists say that we know less than 10 percent of the life of the oceans. This week, IBM and a group of Canadian industry and government partner Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Rigetti (and Others) Pursuit of Quantum Advantage

September 11, 2018

Remember ‘quantum supremacy’, the much-touted but little-loved idea that the age of quantum computing would be signaled when quantum computers could tackle Read more…

By John Russell

How FPGAs Accelerate Financial Services Workloads

September 11, 2018

While FSI companies are unlikely, for competitive reasons, to disclose their FPGA strategies, James Reinders offers insights into the case for FPGAs as accelerators for FSI by discussing performance, power, size, latency, jitter and inline processing. Read more…

By James Reinders

Update from Gregory Kurtzer on Singularity’s Push into FS and the Enterprise

September 11, 2018

Container technology is hardly new but it has undergone rapid evolution in the HPC space in recent years to accommodate traditional science workloads and HPC systems requirements. While Docker containers continue to dominate in the enterprise, other variants are becoming important and one alternative with distinctly HPC roots – Singularity – is making an enterprise push targeting advanced scale workload inclusive of HPC. Read more…

By John Russell

At HPC on Wall Street: AI-as-a-Service Accelerates AI Journeys

September 10, 2018

AIaaS – artificial intelligence-as-a-service – is the technology discipline that eases enterprise entry into the mysteries of the AI journey while lowering Read more…

By Doug Black

No Go for GloFo at 7nm; and the Fujitsu A64FX post-K CPU

September 5, 2018

It’s been a news worthy couple of weeks in the semiconductor and HPC industry. There were several HPC relevant disclosures at Hot Chips 2018 to whet appetites Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

TACC Wins Next NSF-funded Major Supercomputer

July 30, 2018

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has won the next NSF-funded big supercomputer beating out rivals including the National Center for Supercomputing Ap Read more…

By John Russell

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Requiem for a Phi: Knights Landing Discontinued

July 25, 2018

On Monday, Intel made public its end of life strategy for the Knights Landing "KNL" Phi product set. The announcement makes official what has already been wide Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

AMD’s EPYC Road to Redemption in Six Slides

June 21, 2018

A year ago AMD returned to the server market with its EPYC processor line. The earth didn’t tremble but folks took notice. People remember the Opteron fondly Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

Pattern Computer – Startup Claims Breakthrough in ‘Pattern Discovery’ Technology

May 23, 2018

If it weren’t for the heavy-hitter technology team behind start-up Pattern Computer, which emerged from stealth today in a live-streamed event from San Franci Read more…

By John Russell

Sandia to Take Delivery of World’s Largest Arm System

June 18, 2018

While the enterprise remains circumspect on prospects for Arm servers in the datacenter, the leadership HPC community is taking a bolder, brighter view of the x86 server CPU alternative. Amongst current and planned Arm HPC installations – i.e., the innovative Mont-Blanc project, led by Bull/Atos, the 'Isambard’ Cray XC50 going into the University of Bristol, and commitments from both Japan and France among others -- HPE is announcing that it will be supply the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a 2.3 petaflops peak Arm-based system, named Astra. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Pledges First Commercial Nervana Product ‘Spring Crest’ in 2019

May 24, 2018

At its AI developer conference in San Francisco yesterday, Intel embraced a holistic approach to AI and showed off a broad AI portfolio that includes Xeon processors, Movidius technologies, FPGAs and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processors (NNPs), based on the technology it acquired in 2016. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GPUs Power Five of World’s Top Seven Supercomputers

June 25, 2018

The top 10 echelon of the newly minted Top500 list boasts three powerful new systems with one common engine: the Nvidia Volta V100 general-purpose graphics proc Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Machine Learning Hype Cycle and HPC

June 14, 2018

Like many other HPC professionals I’m following the hype cycle around machine learning/deep learning with interest. I subscribe to the view that we’re probably approaching the ‘peak of inflated expectation’ but not quite yet starting the descent into the ‘trough of disillusionment. This still raises the probability that... Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This