The Weekly Top Five

By Tiffany Trader

May 19, 2011

The Weekly Top Five features the five biggest HPC stories of the week, condensed for your reading pleasure. This week, we cover NCSA’s newest 153-teraflop supercomputer; Dassault Systèmes latest SIMULIA Abaqus release; an optimistic forecast for technical software spending; NVIDIA’s record-setting Tesla GPU; the Fraunhofer Parallel File System upgrade.

NCSA Forges Ahead with 153-Teraflop Supercomputer

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has begun the process of installing its newest supercomputer at the University of Illinois in the National Petascale Computing Facility’s spacious 20,000-square-foot datacenter. The 153-teraflop system known as “Forge” employs a hybrid design that leverages the power of both CPUs and GPUs. Forge will replace the organization’s Lincoln supercomputer, another hybrid system.

According to the release:

Forge will combine 18 Dell PowerEdge C6145s that contain 36 nodes of dual-socket/eight-core AMD processors, with M2070 NVIDIA Fermi GPU units housed in Dell’s C410x PCI expansion enclosures; there are eight Fermi units for each node, for a total of 288. Each NVIDIA M2070 provides more than 500 gigaflops of double-precision performance and 6GB of GDDR5 memory.

In addition to the the usual scientific workloads, Forge will support several projects that were being run on Lincoln. These include the study of protein complexes, testing for interactions between protein solutions and different drugs, and the creation of innovative versions of the MILC quantum chromodynamics code.

Forge is scheduled start production on July 1st. Allocations will be handled by the National Science Foundation TRAC process.

Dassault Systèmes Debuts SIMULIA’s Abaqus 6.11 Release

Dassault Systèmes this week debuted the latest release of the Abaqus product suite for unified finite element analysis. Available under Dassault’s SIMULIA brand, Abaqus 6.11 offers nonlinear structural optimization, coupled multiphysics, and high-performance computing technology.

Abaqus 6.11 includes more than 100 customer-requested enhancements. The Abaqus Topology Optimization Module (ATOM) is an add-on product that enables Abaqus users “to perform topology and shape optimization for single parts and assemblies, while taking into account large deformation, material nonlinearity and contact.” With a new electromagnetics solution technology, users can solve problems requiring time-harmonic eddy current analysis, such as the hardening of a bearing surface due to induction. The release also includes the capability for modeling violent free-surface flows.

SIMULIA supports customers from a wide range of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, consumer packaged goods, energy, and life sciences. According to company officials, Abaqus allows design companies and manufacturers to virtually examine the real-world physical behavior of products and materials in a time- and cost-effective manner, improving product performance and reducing reliance on physical prototypes.

Perhaps most notably, Abaqus 6.11 has been retooled to capitalize on the accelerative potential of NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs, allowing it to run computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulations twice as fast as the CPU-only variant. According to Andrew Cresci, general manager of strategic alliances in NVIDIA’s Professional Solutions Group, “the ability to run more design candidates while shortening engineering cycles is the future of computer-aided engineering.”

Dassault Systèmes also provided an overview of its 23rd annual international SIMULIA Customer Conference (SCC), which was held May 17-19, in Barcelona, Spain. The event included main stage presentations from General Motors, BD, and PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Technical Software Spending Gets Optimistic Forecast

A report from market research firm Cambashi predicts a spike in technical software application spending for 2011. The report anticipates that a worldwide revitalization will occur in 2011 and will likely have the most momentum in the aerospace and defence and the process and utility industries. According to Cambashi officials, this global resurgence is owed to increased recovery and reinvestement spending and beefed-up infrastructure.

In Cambashi’s view, the technical software space encompasses AEC (architecture, engineering & construction), geospatial (GIS) and manufacturing (CAD/CAM/CAE and PDM/PLM). The observations in this report are drawn from the Cambashi Market Observatories, which present a four-way view by country, industry, economic activity and product line.

The analysis breaks down geographically into the Americas, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC). The Americas display strong growth in the automotive segment, despite being hit hard early on in the recession. Cambashi envisions that EMEA and APAC will have be strongest in pharma, followed by the process and utilities industries. Finally, the report presents aerospace and defence as strong growth areas for all geographic regions.

Mike Evans, research director, Cambashi, summarized his company’s findings: “As economies move cautiously out of recession, these data give companies confidence to plan for growth.”

NVIDIA Debuts Tesla M2090 GPU

NVIDIA has launched the Tesla M2090 GPU, which the company refers to in its literature as “the world’s fastest parallel processor for high performance computing.” The Tesla M2090 GPU has also sets a record for the AMBER molecular dynamics simulation, a key measure of scientific computation.

The Tesla M2090 GPU harnesses the power of 512 CUDA cores, endowing the graphics processor with 665 gigaflops of peak double-precision performance, an almost 30 percent increase over the previous generation Tesla product. The Tesla M2090 provides applications with up to a 10x speedup compared with CPU-only solutions.

The announcement cites the benefit of GPU acceleration on the performance of AMBER 11, a widely-used application for simulating the behavior of biomolecules. Four Tesla M2090 GPUs coupled with four CPUs delivered a record performance of 69 nanoseconds of simulation per day; whereas, the fastest AMBER performance recorded on a CPU-only supercomputer is 46 ns/day.

Ross Walker, assistant research professor at the San Diego Computer Center and principle contributor to the AMBER code, comments:

“This is the fastest result ever reported. With Tesla M2090 GPUs, AMBER users in university departments can obtain application performance that outstrips what is possible even with extensive supercomputer access.”

HPCwire presents feature coverage of the Tesla M2090 GPU, here.

New Fraunhofer Parallel File System Release Sets Speed Record

The Fraunhofer Parallel File System Team introduced a major new release of their file system, FhGFS, which is already being used on the 800-node cluster “LOEWE-CSC” at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany — the machine currently listed at No. 22 on the TOP500 list. What’s more, FhGFS was used to set a speed record on the world’s first commercial 100 gigabit wide-area Ethernet link.

From the release:

Based on storage hardware provided by DataDirect Networks (DDN) and network equipment provided by T-Systems and Alcatel-Lucent, FhGFS delivered a sustained throughput of 12.4GB/s unidirectional and 22.95GB/s bidirectional. The latter is more than 1GB/s faster than the highest result achieved by any of the alternative parallel file systems that were benchmarked on the 400 kilometers (249 miles) connection between the German cities Dresden and Freiberg.

The new FhGFS release debuts after a year of development, and offers multiple enhancements and new features. The developers made improvements to the the internals of the distributed metadata architecture, allowing it to scale with new technologies like SSDs and manycore server platforms. A new metadata storage format keeps all file attributes, including file size and modification timestamps, directly available on the metadata servers, which eliminate the latency overhead of indirectly fetching this information from the storage servers. Additionally, users will likely appreciate the check and repair tool, detailed live statistics for clients and an enhanced graphical administration and monitoring interface.

Fraunhofer makes FhGFS available for download free of charge; however, they also offer a fully-supported commercial version.

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