The Weekly Top Five

By Tiffany Trader

June 2, 2011

The Weekly Top Five features the five biggest HPC stories of the week, condensed for your reading pleasure. This week, we cover NERSC’s acceptance of its first petascale supercomputer, the potential for magnets to revolutionize computing; NCSA’s private sector supercomputer; the official debut of Australia’s MASSIVE supercomputer; and PRACE’s biggest supercomputing allocation yet.

NERSC Accepts ‘Hopper’ Supercomputer

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) has officially accepted its first petascale supercomputer. The Cray XE6 system was named “Hopper” in honor of the renowned American computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper. The supercomputer will benefit more than 4,000 researchers and will support advancements in the fields of wind energy, extreme weather, and materials science.

NERSC Director Kathy Yelick, commented on this latest achievement:

“We are very excited to make this unique petascale capability available to our users, who are working on some of the most important problems facing the scientific community and the world. With its 12-core AMD processor chips, the system reflects an aggressive step forward in the industry-wide trend toward increasing the core counts, combined with the latest innovations in high-speed networking from Cray. The result is a powerful instrument for science. Our goal at NERSC is to maximize performance across a broad set of applications, and by our metric, the addition of Hopper represents an impressive five-fold increase in the application capability of NERSC.”

NERSC is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary high-performance computing facility for scientific research. A pictorial journey of the delivery and installation process can be found here.

Chameleon Magnets Hailed as Potential Game Changers

Researchers at the University at Buffalo (UB) are studying the behavior of magnets and exploring their potential to revolutionize the field of computing. The researchers are asking questions about the nature of magnets and whether it’s possible to control their behavior to create more versatile transistors.

In the current issue of Science, University at Buffalo researcher Igor Zutic, a theoretical physicist, together with fellow UB physicist John Cerne, discuss the results of a Japanese study that demonstrates the potential to turn a material’s magnetism on and off at room temperature.

The release explains the basis for the research:

A material’s magnetism is determined by a property all electrons possess: something called “spin.” Electrons can have an “up” or “down” spin, and a material is magnetic when most of its electrons possess the same spin. Individual spins are akin to tiny bar magnets, which have north and south poles.

Zutic explains that the ability to switch a magnet “on” or “off” is revolutionary, bringing with it the promise of magnet- or spin-based computing technology — called “spintronics.” Spintronics-based devices will store and process data by exploiting electrons’ “up” and “down” spins. These spin states are similar to the ones and zeros found in standard digital transmission, but the technology makes it possible for more data to be stored using less energy.

Chameleon magnets could set the stage for a new era in processor design, and according to the researchers, may one day bring about the “seamless integration of memory and logic by providing smart hardware that can be dynamically reprogrammed for optimal performance of a specific task.”

NCSA Brings Supercomputing to Industry with iForge

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is launching a supercomputer, called iForge, which will be dedicated to the center’s industrial partners. Rolls-Royce, Boeing, and Caterpillar are few of the companies that will be putting this computer cycles to work on a range of modeling and simulation problems.

A 22-teraflop high-performance computing cluster, iForge employs 121 Dell servers and a mix of Intel Xeon AMD Opteron processors designed to optimize workflows. 48 cores worth of high-level AMD parts are on hand to support memory-intensive pre- and post-processing jobs and highly-threaded applications. The system’s nodes are connected with 40 gigabit QDR InfiniBand from Mellanox. iForge doubles as a Linux-cluster or a Windows machine, since it runs both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

In a prepared statement, Merle Giles, director of NCSA’s Private Sector Program, comments:

“iForge is a unique resource at NCSA, as it is designed specifically for commercial and open-source applications widely used by industry. This machine offers our Private Sector Partners several platforms to reach higher and higher levels of scaling and performance for physics-based modeling and simulation applications.”

More information about NCSA’s Private Sector Program is available at industry.ncsa.illinois.edu.

Australia’s MASSIVE Supercomputer Opens for General Use

Australia’s MASSIVE (Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment) supercomputer is now open for general use. The resource is part of a collaboration that includes the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC), the Australian Synchrotron, CSIRO, Monash University, and the NCI. The State Government of Victoria also provided funding for the project.

The MASSIVE supercomputer is comprised of two tightly-coupled high performance computers — two 42 node IBM iDataPlex systems, each having 84 NVIDIA M2070 GPUs, 504 Intel Westmere compute cores, and 2 TB of memory. The combined resource offers 1,008 CPU-cores and 168 NVIDIA M2070 GPUs. Ten nodes have been upgraded to advanced M2070Q GPUs and 192 GB memory each, to address the specific requirements of interactive visualization workloads. Each system uses a high performance GPFS parallel file system, and both Linux and Windows HPC Cluster-based services are available.

The allocation process is open to the Australian research community and is managed by the NCI Merit Allocation Scheme. Researchers with a need for MASSIVE’s extensive rendering and visualization capabilities will be given priority, as will those whose applications leverage GPU acceleration. The next call for proposals starts in November for access in 2012, but early access may be sought by sending an email request to info@massive.org.au. Additional information regarding the allocation process is available at www.massive.org.au/access.

PRACE Now Accepting Applications for Supercomputing Time

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), which provides Europe with access to cutting-edge supercomputing resources, is now accepting submissions for its third call for proposals. Successful applicants will be able to access a total of 3 Tier-0 supercomputers and 17 national Tier-1 systems.

This call marks the first time that PRACE affiliates will get to use the Tier-0 “HERMIT” supercomputer. This Cray XE6 system offers one petaflop peak performance and will be installed in the fall at the High Performance Center of University Stuttgart. A planned upgrade is already in the works for the 2013, which will supply “HERMIT” with an additional 3-4 petaflops of power, creating a system with a possible 5 petaflops of peak performance.

The one-petaflop IBM BlueGene/P system, JUGENE, based at Germany’s Jülich Supercomputing Centre, and the 1.6 petaflop Bull Bullx cluster, CURIE, hosted by the French research agency, CEA, will also be available as part of this allocation. And for the first time, seventeen Tier-1 systems are also being included in the PRACE call. These Tier-1 resources were previously overseen by DEISA (the Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications) and were part of DECI calls, which now fall under the purview of PRACE.

More information about the PRACE allocation process is available at www.prace-ri.eu/hpc-access. The current application period runs from May 2 – June 22, 2011.

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!

TACC Helps ROSIE Bioscience Gateway Expand its Impact

April 26, 2017

Biomolecule structure prediction has long been challenging not least because the relevant software and workflows often require high end HPC systems that many bioscience researchers lack easy access to. Read more…

By John Russell

Messina Update: The U.S. Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

IBM, Nvidia, Stone Ridge Claim Gas & Oil Simulation Record

April 25, 2017

IBM, Nvidia, and Stone Ridge Technology today reported setting the performance record for a “billion cell” oil and gas reservoir simulation. Read more…

By John Russell

ASC17 Makes Splash at Wuxi Supercomputing Center

April 24, 2017

A record-breaking twenty student teams plus scores of company representatives, media professionals, staff and student volunteers transformed a formerly empty hall inside the Wuxi Supercomputing Center into a bustling hub of HPC activity, kicking off day one of 2017 Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Remote Visualization Optimizing Life Sciences Operations and Care Delivery

As patients continually demand a better quality of care and increasingly complex workloads challenge healthcare organizations to innovate, investing in the right technologies is key to ensuring growth and success. Read more…

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of a new generation of chips designed specifically for deep learning workloads. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Musk’s Latest Startup Eyes Brain-Computer Links

April 21, 2017

Elon Musk, the auto and space entrepreneur and severe critic of artificial intelligence, is forming a new venture that reportedly will seek to develop an interface between the human brain and computers. Read more…

By George Leopold

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Cori Shows the World How Many-Cores for the Masses Works

April 21, 2017

As its mission, the high performance computing center for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, NERSC (the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center), supports a broad spectrum of forefront scientific research across diverse areas that includes climate, material science, chemistry, fusion energy, high-energy physics and many others. Read more…

By Rob Farber

Messina Update: The U.S. Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

ASC17 Makes Splash at Wuxi Supercomputing Center

April 24, 2017

A record-breaking twenty student teams plus scores of company representatives, media professionals, staff and student volunteers transformed a formerly empty hall inside the Wuxi Supercomputing Center into a bustling hub of HPC activity, kicking off day one of 2017 Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of a new generation of chips designed specifically for deep learning workloads. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

NERSC Cori Shows the World How Many-Cores for the Masses Works

April 21, 2017

As its mission, the high performance computing center for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, NERSC (the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center), supports a broad spectrum of forefront scientific research across diverse areas that includes climate, material science, chemistry, fusion energy, high-energy physics and many others. Read more…

By Rob Farber

Hyperion (IDC) Paints a Bullish Picture of HPC Future

April 20, 2017

Hyperion Research – formerly IDC’s HPC group – yesterday painted a fascinating and complicated portrait of the HPC community’s health and prospects at the HPC User Forum held in Albuquerque, NM. HPC sales are up and growing ($22 billion, all HPC segments, 2016). Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN openlab Explores New CPU/FPGA Processing Solutions

April 14, 2017

Through a CERN openlab project known as the ‘High-Throughput Computing Collaboration,’ researchers are investigating the use of various Intel technologies in data filtering and data acquisition systems. Read more…

By Linda Barney

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference phase of neural networks (NN). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. 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

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

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

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

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

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

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

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

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