Supercomputing Conference Offers Up Smorgasbord of HPC Sessions

By Michael Feldman

November 9, 2012

The epic supercomputing event of the year, SC12, will be booting up next week in Salt Lake City, Utah, attracting HPC digerati, vendors, press, and analysts from around the world. And even though the DOE won’t be there in full force this year, big crowds are still expected. This year’s event should deliver plenty of fodder for those looking to keep up on the latest and greatest in the field, especially in the cutting edge areas of accelerators, big data, cloud computing, exascale supercomputing, and green HPC.

In fact if you take a look the SC12 conference schedule, those five topics just mentioned dominate much of the technical program this year. Eye-balling the listed sessions, there are 48 on accelerators (GPUs, Xeon Phi, DSPs and FPGAs), 37 on big data, 32 on cloud computing, 20 on exascale, and 19 on green computing. Of course, there’s also the usual fare of presentations on interconnects, parallel programming, storage technology (although curiously, not much specifically on flash storage), software development tools, and various HPC use cases.

The session distribution reflects the big drivers in the HPC space today. I would argue the top three on this list — accelerators, big data, cloud computing — are the technologies that will matter most to high performance computing, not just in the next year or two, but also several years down the road. For example, accelerators like GPUs and Intel’s Xeon Phi are not just revamping the basic structure of supercomputing hardware, but the programming tools underneath (CUDA, OpenCL, OpenACC, and OpenMP). Big data is opening up the space a new set of vendors and broadening the horizons for ones that used to be confined to HPC. Finally, cloud computing promises to change to delivery model for at least a subset of HPC users and offer a path for others who have been excluded from high performance computing altogether.

To get a sense of the accelerator space from the application perspective, I’d recommend the Application Grand Challenges in the Heterogeneous Accelerator Era BoF, led by Satoshi Matsuoka, tech lead for the GPU-accelerated TSUBAME super at Tokyo Tech. To catch up on the latest in software tools for accelerator, there are several tutorials and BoFs available, hosted by the various vendors (NVIDIA, PGI, CAPS enterprise, and Intel). Closer to the metal are Design, Implementation and Evolution of High Level Accelerator Programming on Wednesday, presented by PGI compiler engineer Michael Wolfe and Dealing with Portability and Performance on Heterogeneous Systems with Directive-Based Programming Approaches, delivered by CAPS’ François Bodin.

For the HPC cloud space, I’d check out Kate Keahey’s BoF: HPC Cloud: Can Infrastructure Clouds Provide a Viable Platform for HPC?. Kate was exploring the cloud model for HPC when practically everyone else was still talking about grids. She is also part of another BoF title Science-as-a-Service: Exploring Clouds for Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering, which is specifically aimed at how clouds can be structured for science and engineering applications. And if you’re still around on Friday, the Sustainable HPC Cloud Computing 2012 workshop looks worthwhile. It will “report performance studies comparing traditional HPC cluster against HPC cloud, military applications of computing clouds, MPI security studies, failure prevention methods, GPU for the cloud, and innovative methods to understand the movements of individually identifiable entities in the cloud data.”

For the big data topic there’s a little something for everyone — from an introductory tutorial to tweaking Hadoop for HPC. There’s also a best practices BoF. And if you lean toward graph analytics, there’s a BoF for that too. Even with all that, you’ve just skimmed the surface of the big data world at SC12.

As usual, there’s a good line-up of keynote presentations at SC, starting with the opening keynote on Tuesday with Michio Kaku. Kaku is a world-renowned theoretical physicists who has helped to popularize science with the general public. His talk “Physics of the Future: How Science will Change Daily Life by 2100,” will present a vision of the future in which science will advance human civilization by revolutionizing medicine, computers, and space travel.

If that’s too esoteric for you, try Kirk Cameron’s keynote on energy-efficient HPC: Pushing Water Up Mountains: Green HPC and Other Energy Oddities, or the related The Costs of HPC-Based Science in the Exascale Era, delivered by Thomas Ludwig, from the German Climate Computing Center. Both center around the challenges presented by green IT at the scale of supercomputers.

Beyond the technical program and keynotes will be the usual awards (ACM Gordon Bell Prize, SC12 Best Paper, Student Cluster Competition, Seymour Cray Computer Science and Engineering Award, etc) and XXX500 lists: TOP500, Green500, and Graph 500. The TOP500 will get the most press and this year we should see some big shake-ups at the top of the top with Titan (ORNL), Stampede (TACC) and Blue Waters (NCSA) coming online. For the Green500, the big question is: will anyone knock Blue Gene/Q off its perch as the most energy-efficient FLOPS-maker in the world? The new accelerator-based supers equipped with Kepler-grade GPUs (like Titan) and Xeon Phi-juiced machines (like Stampede) have a shot at it. We’ll find out in a few days.

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 Researchers Test AI Traffic Monitoring Tool in Austin

December 13, 2017

Traffic jams and mishaps are often painful and sometimes dangerous facts of life. At this week’s IEEE International Conference on Big Data being held in Boston, researchers from TACC and colleagues will present a new Read more…

AMD Wins Another: Baidu to Deploy EPYC on Single Socket Servers

December 13, 2017

When AMD introduced its EPYC chip line in June, the company said a portion of the line was specifically designed to re-invigorate a single socket segment in what has become an overwhelmingly two-socket landscape in the d Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Wants to Speed Quantum Development

December 12, 2017

Quantum computing continues to make headlines in what remains of 2017 as tech giants jockey to establish a pole position in the race toward commercialization of quantum. This week, Microsoft took the next step in advanci Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Explore the Origins of Space with COSMOS and Memory-Driven Computing

From the formation of black holes to the origins of space, data is the key to unlocking the secrets of the early universe. Read more…

ESnet Now Moving More Than 1 Petabyte/wk

December 12, 2017

Optimizing ESnet (Energy Sciences Network), the world's fastest network for science, is an ongoing process. Recently a two-year collaboration by ESnet users – the Petascale DTN Project – achieved its ambitious goal t Read more…

AMD Wins Another: Baidu to Deploy EPYC on Single Socket Servers

December 13, 2017

When AMD introduced its EPYC chip line in June, the company said a portion of the line was specifically designed to re-invigorate a single socket segment in wha Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Wants to Speed Quantum Development

December 12, 2017

Quantum computing continues to make headlines in what remains of 2017 as tech giants jockey to establish a pole position in the race toward commercialization of Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Iron, Soft, Data, People – It Takes an Ecosystem!

December 11, 2017

Cutting edge advanced computing hardware (aka big iron) does not stand by itself. These computers are the pinnacle of a myriad of technologies that must be care Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Microsoft Spins Cycle Computing into Core Azure Product

December 5, 2017

Last August, cloud giant Microsoft acquired HPC cloud orchestration pioneer Cycle Computing. Since then the focus has been on integrating Cycle’s organization Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE In-Memory Platform Comes to COSMOS

November 30, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is on a mission to accelerate space research. In August, it sent the first commercial-off-the-shelf HPC system into space for testing Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC17 Cluster Competition: Who Won and Why? Results Analyzed and Over-Analyzed

November 28, 2017

Everyone by now knows that Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU) took home the highest LINPACK Award and the Overall Championship from the recently concluded SC17 Student Cluster Competition. We also already know how the teams did in the Highest LINPACK and Highest HPCG competitions, with Nanyang grabbing bragging rights for both benchmarks. Read more…

By Dan Olds

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

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

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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