AMD Fusion Developer Summit Fuels HPC Conversations

By Nicole Hemsoth

June 16, 2011

The AMD Fusion Developer Summit came to a close this afternoon following a three-day run in Bellevue, Washington. With over 700 developers in attendance and a surprisingly large selection of sessions with direct appeal to the HPC crowd, the event provided a broad range of use cases and academic arguments supporting the idea that OpenCL (and of course, GPU computing) are set to play a role in the future of high performance computing and beyond.

While there were plenty of opportunities to explore the graphics eye candy and more general-purpose uses of the Fusion APU, most of this reporter’s time was spent delving into sub-topics in the HPC category, including crash courses on GPUs in the context of Hadoop, Mathematica, and of course, OpenCL for large enterprise and research.

Below are a few noteworthy video clips and other featured items collected during the event. If you haven’t seen it, check out the ARM keynote given on AMD stage—an interesting selection for a speaker, but he was able to pull together the connection in terms of the two companies’ dual emphasis on open standards, energy efficiency and of course, heterogeneous computing.

First, we’ll let AMD’s Margaret Lewis tell us a little bit about where OpenCL stands for the HPC community in contrast to CUDA. She says the openness is part of what should make OpenCL an attractive programming model for HPC shops, especially as they tend to use a range of architectures. As she told us, “AMD sees the maturation of OpenCL as a capability not only to download to the GPU but to start utilizing the CPU and GPU as complementary computing engines. Really, that’s what heterogeneous computing is about.”

We also hit on the concept of the scale-out cluster and the role of manycore as well as take a broader look at the future of the upcoming Bulldozer architecture.

AMD Corporate Fellow, Charles Moore presented a short session on Fusion Processors for HPC, noting that while it was not a product announcement, we could expect to see Fusion APUs with very high performance single-precision and double-precision support in the future. Moore stepped back into history to look at events leading up to the heterogeneous compute era. He claims that for the first time, “the GPU is now a first-class citizen; at the same level as the CPU.” In addition to talking about the role of HPC in saving economies and boosting healthcare, education and other areas, he also spent a considerable amount of time discussing some of the challenges inherent to the pending exascale era. In Moore’s view, to reach exascale, AMD needs a 10x efficiency improvement, but he claims they are on a trajectory to intersect exascale requirements by 2018-2020.

Dylan Roeh and Abdul Daddak are kernel developers for Wolfram Research. Dakkak leads efforts to exploit GPU capabilities for Mathematic 8 and Roeh was one of the developers behind the recently-added OpenCL support in Mathematica. The two presented a session called “Heterogeneous Computing for Finance Using Mathematica and OpenCL” in which they discussed how the addition of GPU support in Mathematica has allowed for enhanced possibilities within the Mathematica language. They looked at the ways that OpenCL can be applied to pricing a variety of financial derivatives from inside Mathematica, focusing on the ease of use that is provided by the OpenCL/Mathematica combination and highlighting the performance advantages of GPU computing for these applications in general.

I caught up with Abdul and Dylan (who speaks first in the video below) about the value of GPU computing for finance and some of the challenges that hardware vendors unwittingly lay on developers.

Among some other notable items that were on the agenda at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit were sessions like the one presented by Jim Falgout, Chief Technologist for Pervasive DataRush. Falgout’s topic, “Leveraging Multicore Systems for Hadoop and HPC Workloads” demonstrated how developers can harness multicore servers and clusters, particularly Hadoop clusters, to tackle some of the problems hidden under mounds of big data. Falgout made the argument that even though developers are being faced with the promise of scaled-out hardware, many are still waiting far longer than they’d like for processing and building MapReduce jobs. He claims that the root of these problems is in the scattered software development that leaves cores sitting idle and non-performing, which means increases in energy costs and loss of potential productivity. While something of a deep-dive session into the specifics of Hadoop, it nonetheless was revealing to see how minor variations on the software side can add vast performance increases to Hadoop and HPC workloads that still scale.

While this was not an HPC-geared conference by any means, AMD made sure to stock the agenda full of sessions that reeled in some rather sizable crowds. As the OpenCL ecosystem matures over the next year it will be interesting to see how many more use cases of OpenCL and HPC there are and furthermore, if there appears to be any decline in similar uses of CUDA. Something says that shakedown between the two won’t occur anytime soon but as AMD touted all week, we cannot underestimate the value proposition of open architectures and open standards.

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