The Weekly Top Five

By Tiffany Trader

May 12, 2011

The Weekly Top Five features the five biggest HPC stories of the week, condensed for your reading pleasure. This week, we cover the Cray-Sandia partership to found a knowledge institute; RenderStream’s FireStream-based workstations and servers; NVIDIA’s CUDA center growth; Reservoir Labs and Intel’s extreme scale ambitions; and Jülich Supercomputing Centre’s new hybrid cluster. Plus a bonus section.

Cray, Sandia Combine Efforts to Foster Knowledge Discovery

Prominent supercomputer vendor Cray Inc. and Sandia National Laboratories have come together to establish the Supercomputing Institute for Learning and Knowledge Systems (SILKS). This is a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), a private-public collaboration, which aims to promote knowledge discovery, data management and informatics computing. SILKS is located at Sandia’s Albuquerque-based headquarters and draws from its founders’ hardware and software resources as well as the experience and knowledge of their research staff.

The founding partners declared three primary goals for the endeavor:

1. Accelerate the development and application of high performance computing (HPC) technologies focused on solving knowledge discovery, data management and informatics problems at scale.

2. Collaborate to overcome the implementation barriers to a wider adoption of data-driven HPC computing technologies in knowledge discovery, data management and informatics.

3. Apply the use of these technologies to enable discovery and innovation in science, engineering and for homeland security.

The broad-based agenda will tackle a range of technology domains, including software, hardware, services, education and outreach. Representatives from both Sandia and Cray anticipate the collaborative effort will result in cutting-edge technologies and solutions.

RenderStream Releases AMD-based Servers and Workstations for OpenCL

Addressing the need for GPU-accelerated HPC, 3D workstation specialist RenderStream has launched its AMD Radeon-based servers and workstations for OpenCL. These 21.6 teraflop systems also support OpenGL and Brooks based applications and product development. According to a company statement, GPGPU high-performance computing using AMD GPUs shows great potential for information security, medical imaging, computer graphics and rendering, server side rendering, finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD), electro-magnetics, physics, bio-science and EDA.”

RenderStream’s AMD Radeon HD 6970 based VDACTr8 and its HD 6990 based VDAC4x2 implement 1,536 stream processors and eight GPUs per system, providing access to 12,288 cores and 21.6 teraflops of computing power when operating at an over-clocked peak performance.

The official announcement illustrates the server’s performance-boosting capabilities with this real-world example from the field of information security:

Using the integer-based oclHashCat, RenderStream’s customers are seeing near linear scaling in computational power which simply trounces the 4,096 cores and 12.6 teraflops of our GTX 580 based VDACTr8. In this example the HD 6970 and HD 6990 based VDACTr8 evaluated over 45 billion solutions per second versus 18 billion for the GTX 580 based systems, depending on the implementation.

RenderStream offers general purpose GPU systems as well as HPC-specific GPU-based platforms outfitted with either NVIDIA Tesla or AMD FireStream graphics processors.

NVIDIA CUDA Centers Number Four Hundred

 

This week, NVIDIA announced the addition of 35 new CUDA Research Centers and CUDA Teaching Centers, bringing the total number of such centers to 400. The latest partner institutions come from 14 countries, evidence of parallel computing’s — and NVIDIA’s — global reach.

The centers will leverage the parallel computing power of NVIDIA’s CUDA-based GPUs to tackle a bevy of challenging computing issues, as well as teach thousands of students cutting-edge GPU programming skills. CUDA Research Centers employ GPU computing across multiple domains, while the CUDA Teaching Centers have incorporated GPU computing techniques into their main computer programming curriculum. NVIDIA explains that its CUDA Research Center Program “fosters collaboration at institutions that are expanding the frontier of parallel computing.” Partners benefit from “exclusive events with key researchers and academics, a designated NVIDIA technical liaison, and access to specialized online and in-person training sessions.”

For a full listing of the newest CUDA Research Centers and CUDA Teaching Centers, see the official announcement.

Reservoir Labs, Intel Partner on DARPA UHPC Project

Reservoir Labs announced it will collaborate with Intel researchers on the development of compiler technologies and architectures in order to create viable extreme scale computing by the year 2018. The duo have signed a subcontracting agreement that brings Reservoir Labs research scientists and technologies to Intel’s team to develop Extreme Scale computing technologies as part of DARPA’s Ubiquitous High Performance Computing (UHPC) research program.

According to the release: “The goal of the UHPC program is to develop 1 PFLOPS (HPL) single cabinet systems, including self-contained cooling, that overcome significant energy efficiency, security, and programmability challenges. Essentially this can be viewed as integrating the computational capacity of today’s largest supercomputers in 100x less area, with 100x less power, and with significant increases in programmability and applicability.”

Intel’s UHPC team is tasked with supporting and developing technologies to enable the US to build extreme scale computers by the year 2018. In order for this challenging goal to come to fruition, major breakthroughs in hardware and software design will be necessary, far beyond the level of current commercial offerings. Just improving the energy efficiency levels of computers by more than 100x will require significant advancements.

If these goals are achieved, the resulting technology would benefit embedded applications, such as those found in ship, land, and air-based Department of Defense systems. Exteme scale systems would also further other DoD objectives, such as Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW), Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), battle management and planning, and cyber security.

The initial contract calls for the project to furnish a “proof of concept” implementing extreme scale technologies in a first-pass system design by 2012. A second phase is also outlined, which if DARPA elects to continue, could lead to a completed system design for 2014 timeframe. The full scope of the contract specifies the delivery of a prototype extreme scale system in 2018.

Jülich Supercomputing Centre Debuts Hybrid System

A new GPU-accelerated system will support high-level research at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) in Germany. The hybrid cluster, named JUDGE, for “Jülich Dedicated GPU Environment,” relies on GPUs to boost processing power, while minimizing energy consumption. JUDGE will be used for data-intensive workloads in the fields of biology, medicine and environmental research.

The cluster was built using 54 IBM System x iDataPlex server nodes with 12 cores each and 96 GB memory, as well as 108 NVIDIA M2050 GPUs. The release describes IBM iDataPlex as “a scalable system that can significantly reduce energy consumption, cooling and space requirements.”

Martin Hiegl, the team leader for Deep Computing Sales at IBM Germany, commented, “Together with JSC’s other powerful supercomputers, the new JUDGE cluster supports Germany’s ability to tackle a wide range of scientific and technical challenges.”

Sales leader for HPC at NVIDIA, Stefan Kraemer, believes the hybrid design, which relies on the GPU’s accelerative force, will be the template for the coming exascale generation. “The JUDGE cluster is a good example of how we need to continue to develop computers in the future, following the target of exascale computing. This is valid not only in regard to performance, but also to energy consumption and energy efficiency,” he states, adding: “Pilot projects like JUDGE play a key role in this process and are a key step on the way to hybrid systems.”

JUDGE is not the first IBM/JSC collaboration. The duo united to create the QPACE supercomputer, which consistently ranks among the top ten of the Green500 list of the world’s most energy efficient supercomputers, and also worked together on the Blue Gene/P-based JUGENE, one the most powerful computers in Europe with a peak performance of more than one petaflop.

Bonus News:

There was such a grand allotment of noteworthy news this week that we are presenting our first ever bonus link section:

Cray to Upgrade XE6 Supercomputer at University of Edinburgh

SGI Expands Support for Lustre File System

Solarflare Announces Sale of 10GBASE-T Assets

RunTime Computing Introduces VSI/Pro Support for NVIDIA CUDA

Tilera Adds Wind River Linux and Workbench Support

IBM Introduces Tape Library Technology Capable of Storing Nearly 3 Exabytes of Data

French Engineering Firm EURO/CFD Extends HPC Cluster to 720 Processors

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!

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combined peak computing capacity, the new systems will extend the a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

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

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. 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

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

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

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This