The Weekly Top Five

By Tiffany Trader

April 14, 2011

The Weekly Top Five features the five biggest HPC stories of the week, condensed for your reading pleasure. This week, we cover Bull’s third petascale computing contract; IBM’s new POWER7 servers, the first hybrid spintronics computer chips, Bull and Whamcloud’s beefed-up Lustre support; and Tilera’s latest manycore development tools.

Bull to Provide Supercomputer for Fusion Research

The Paris-based Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA) has selected Bull to provide a supercomputer for the International Fusion Energy Research Center (IFERC) in Rokkasho, Japan. The petaflop-class system will support advanced modeling and simulation in the field of plasmas and controlled fusion equipment. The contract marks the third time Bull will create a system with this level of performance.

From the announcement:

The new supercomputer is designed to be operational 24 hours per day. Its peak performance of almost 1.3 petaflops places it among the most powerful systems in the world. The computing components combine, within a “cluster” architecture, 4,410 blades bullx series B including 8,820 Intel Xeon processors of the “Sandy Bridge” type and 70,560 cores. The supercomputer is equipped with a memory exceeding 280 terabytes and a high bandwidth storage system of more than 5.7 petabytes, supplemented by a secondary storage system designed to support 50 petabytes. The connection network for the cluster is based on InfiniBand technology.

In addition to the above specs, 36 bullx series S systems and 38 bullx series R systems will be dedicated to the cluster’s administration, for management of the Lustre file systems and for user access. Bull will also provide 32 bullx series R systems including high-performance graphics cards for pre-and post processing and visualization. The high-end cluster will be equipped with the bullx supercomputer suite advanced edition, which was developed and optimized by Bull for petascale computers.

The installation process will begin in June. The supercomputer will be available to European and Japanese researchers for a period of five years, beginning January 2012. Bull will be responsible for the machine’s installation, maintainance and operation, and will receive support from local parter SGI Japan.

IBM Boosts POWER7 Systems

IBM has unveiled its latest POWER7 systems, including a performance bump to the Power 750, the server used in the famous Watson supercomputer. However, the new and improved Power 750 servers are even more powerful than the ones used in the Jeopardy-winning AI darling.

The new Power blades and Power servers will be used in mission-critical application areas, such as healthcare management, financial services, and scientific research. According to the release, “the specialized demands of these new applications rely on processing an enormous number of concurrent transactions and data while analyzing that information in real time.”

At the heart of the announcement are two new blades and two upgrades. The new blade servers, which IBM touts as providing an alternative to sprawling racks, include the two-socket (16-core), single-wide PS703, and the 32-core, double-wide PS704. Also debuting is the enhanced IBM Power 750 Express, like the one used in the Watson system. This server offers more than three times the performance of comparable 32-core offerings, such as Oracle’s SPARC T3-2 server, and more than twice the performance of HP’s Integrity BL890c i2. Last up is the enhanced IBM Power 755, a high-performance computing cluster node with 32 POWER7 cores and a faster processor.
 
A full accounting can be found in Editor Michael Feldman’s feature coverage. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll read:

Both the 750 and the 755 are four-socket Power7 servers that were introduced last year. The 750 is built for database serving and general enterprise consolidation/virtualization, while the InfiniBand-equipped 755 is aimed specifically at HPC users. The additional options on the 750 include new four-core and six-core Power7 CPUs running at 3.7 GHz, and two new eight-core Power7s running at 3.2 GHz and 3.6 GHz, respectively. The Power 755, which used to come only with 3.3 GHz chips, is now being outfitted with 3.6 GHz Power7s.

Why they didn’t offer an option for the faster 3.7 GHz Power7s on the Power 755 is a little mysterious. It seems like there would be some interest by HPC users that needed faster threads and a higher memory-to-compute ratio on certain applications.

OSU Lab Creates First Hybrid Spintronic Computer Chips

Ohio State University researchers have taken significant steps toward the creation of viable hybrid spintronic computer chips. The team developed the “first electronic circuit to merge traditional inorganic semiconductors with organic ‘spintronics’ — devices that utilize the spin of electrons to read, write and manipulate data.”

The group worked to combine an inorganic semiconductor with a unique plastic material being developed by OSU professor Arthur J. Epstein’s lab at Ohio State University. Epstein, a distinguished university professor of physics and chemistry and director of the Institute for Magnetic and Electronic Polymers at Ohio State, was the first to successfully store and retrieve data using a plastic spintronic device.

A paper published in the journal Physical Review Letter describes how the researchers were able to transmit “a spin-polarized electrical current from the plastic material, through the gallium arsenide, and into a light-emitting diode (LED) as proof that the organic and inorganic parts were working together.”

Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, assistant professor of physics, examines possible uses for the technology:

If scientists could expand spintronic technology beyond memory applications into logic and computing applications, major advances in information processing could follow. Spintronic logic would theoretically require much less power, and produce much less heat, than current electronics, while enabling computers to turn on instantly without “booting up.” Hybrid and organic devices further promise computers that are lighter and more flexible, much as organic LEDs are now replacing inorganic LEDs in the production of flexible displays.

More work will need to be done before hybrid spintronics devices are ready for mass-production, but this hybrid circuit presents a good first step, one that lays the groundwork for future advances.

Bull, Whamcloud Extend Lustre Collaboration

A strengthened partnership with Whamcloud is enabling Bull to increase support and professional services for Lustre customers everywhere. Under the enhanced agreement, which builds on the duo’s existing technology partnership, Lustre users will “have access to Bull’s complete range of services starting from building scalable and highly available architectures, up to effective deployment and service level agreement (SLA) driven operations and support.”

Eric Monchalin, HPC software director at Bull, commented on the importance of parallel file systems for high performance computing HPC applications. Lustre is a high-performance, distributed open source file system used for large-scale cluster computing.

According to the release, the collaboration “enables Bull to leverage its long experience and deep knowledge in Lustre technology to provide validation and optimization of Lustre on Bull’s Extreme Computing bullx systems, integration with the bullx supercomputer suite HPC software stack, plus further development of Lustre’s administration and high availability functionality.”

European IT company Bull and venture-backed Whamcloud first announced a joint agreement for Lustre development in February. The team’s ultimate goal is to create a file system worthy of exaflop-class machines.

Tilera Tools Simplify Manycore Development Efforts

This week manycore chip specialist Tilera announced the release of its Multicore Development Environment (MDE) version 3.0, with enhancements aimed at simplifying manycore processor development.

From the release:

The new MDE is based on the recently released Linux 2.6.36 kernel, which integrates Tilera’s TILE architecture into the main Linux tree. The MDE includes cross compiling and native tool chains GCC 4.4, GDB 7.1, and GLIBC 2.11.2. The 3.0 MDE provides a full Linux distribution with over 1,000 Linux packages based on RHEL6 sources.

Support for Tilera’s architecture in the main Linux kernel creates many opportunities for open source developers to run their application on Tilera processors, the first manycore architecture to be supported by Linux. Tilera offers 64 cores today and up to 100 cores with the Tilera TILE-Gx family, coming later this year.

Linus Torvalds, founder and chief architect of the Linux kernel, was pleased with the news. “I am happy to have the TILE architecture in the kernel,” he said. ”Tilera provides innovative approaches for manycore processors.”

Tilera’s new software release includes both standard Linux and a GNU tool chain, helping users shorten development times. Tilera customers are able to use the same build infrastructure and make files, leverage the community’s resource and available software, and reduce the learning curve with standard tools and software environment.

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!

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Can Markov Logic Take Machine Learning to the Next Level?

July 11, 2018

Advances in machine learning, including deep learning, have propelled artificial intelligence (AI) into the public conscience and forced executives to create new business plans based on data. However, the scarcity of hig Read more…

By Alex Woodie

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

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer today at an event presided over by DOE Secretary Rick Perry. Read more…

CSIR, Nvidia Partner to Launch GPU-Powered AI Center in India

July 10, 2018

As reported by a number of Indian news outlets, India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is partnering with Nvidia to establish a new, AI-focused Centre of Excellence in New Delhi, India's capital. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Tsinghua Powers Through ISC18 Field

July 10, 2018

Tsinghua University topped all other competitors at the ISC18 Student Cluster Competition with an overall score of 88.43 out of 100. This gives Tsinghua their s Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE, EPFL Launch Blue Brain 5 Supercomputer

July 10, 2018

HPE and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project yesterday introduced Blue Brain 5, a new supercomputer built by HPE, which displ Read more…

By John Russell

Pumping New Life into HPC Clusters, the Case for Liquid Cooling

July 10, 2018

High Performance Computing (HPC) faces some daunting challenges in the coming years as traditional, industry-standard systems push the boundaries of data center Read more…

By Scott Tease

Meet the ISC18 Cluster Teams: Up Close & Personal

July 6, 2018

It’s time to meet your ISC18 Student Cluster Competition teams. While I was able to film them live at the ISC show, the trick was finding time to edit the vid Read more…

By Dan Olds

PRACEdays18 Keynote Allan Williams (Australia/NCI): We’re Open for Business Down Under!

July 5, 2018

The University of Ljubljana in Slovenia hosted the third annual EHPCSW18 and fifth annual PRACEdays18 events which opened with a plenary session on May 29, 2018 Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek for HPCwire)

HPC Under the Covers: Linpack, Exascale & the Top500

June 28, 2018

HPCers can get painted as a monolithic bunch by outsiders, but internecine disagreements abound over the HPCest of HPC jargon, as was evident at ISC this week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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