On the Other Side of Moore’s Law

By Nicole Hemsoth

March 22, 2013

Stephen S. Pawlowski knows a thing or two about Moore’s Law. He joined Intel, the company co-founded by Gordon Moore, in 1982, and has seen the number of transistors its microprocessors hold double about 20 times since then—a factor of nearly three million. 
 
He has a keen sense of where these processors fit into the HPC. niche  He’s an Intel Senior Fellow, chief technology officer for the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group (DCSG), and general manager for the Intel Architecture Group and DCSG Pathfinding at Intel. He oversees architectural consistency across all of Intel’s architectures, and implements initiatives such as security and manageability across Intel Core and Intel Atom product lines.
 
Pawloski also been the director of the Corporate Technology Group’s Microprocessor Technology Lab, the same kind of position Moore had when he made his famous observation. 
 
At the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’13) on June 18, he will give a keynote speech titled Moore’s Law 2020. It points out why Moore’s Law has been so influential in the past and why the new era of “Moore Squared” will shoot HPC into the exascale era and beyond.
 
In anticipation of that talk, HPCwire asked him a few questions about the future of Moore’s Law and the inexorable move toward exascale computing. 
 
HPCwire: What new software, hardware and integration features or products are needed to successfully reach exascale computing?
 
Stephen Pawlowski: The breakthroughs are in resiliency, scalability, programmability and power efficiency:  How to make systems robust against real time errors, how to have high performance interconnect that makes scaling to the dimensionality necessary for exascale tractable, and how to do all that is required at a fraction of the performance per watt we see today. These are the key questions.  
 
I don’t think these are new products, nor new features per se. They are improvements in the way existing products do their tasks.  This in itself is a great source of innovation. 
 
HPCwire: Sometimes it seems that exascale is a distant reality that keeps receding in to the future. How soon do you think we’ll get there and why?
 
Pawlowski: There will certainly be real world applications on exascale systems in this decade. Perhaps sooner.  Perhaps it’s destiny.  Burgelman wrote that “Strategy is Destiny,” and if that’s so, then many nations have strategies to remain ahead in the computation capability game.  
 
But I also think that Economics is Destiny.  The economic competitive imperative will drive industry to thirst for exascale capability, if not by the end of the decade, then very very soon there after.  
 
In 2024, there will be many dozens of exascale resources serving academic and commercial interests, and that will be just the tip of the iceberg.  The return on investment in computing looks very strong indeed for many years to come. That, as much as strategy, will cause the challenges at the heart of exascale to be brought to solution.  
 
HPCwire: What significant trends do you predict will emerge between ISC’13 and SC’13?
 
Pawlowski: In the next five months?  The industry doesn’t change that fast! The major inflections that are coming have been signaled by the participants for years.  I don’t think we’ll see any real major inflections in that time, but we will see those already-signaled changes start to become real.  
 
Specifically, we will see an increased interest in data analytics and other technologies that will make supercomputing computer science a more practical application for more engineers and scientists.  This will reinvigorate the technology of storage and networking systems, both in hardware and software.  
 
Certainly the funding agencies are signaling this by the merging of Big Data and Exascale initiatives.  HPC and Big Data live together to generate return on investment.  Computation without data is just telling us what we already should have known.  Data without computation is search.  Interesting, but it only touches the tip of the iceberg of insight. 
 
HPCwire: What can you tell us about your keynote?
 
Pawlowski: Moore’s law has been the heartbeat of the electronics industry for over 30 years.  In the technical computing industry, Moore’s law plays a part in enabling the largest supercomputers on the planet.  
 
But real applications require a balanced system, which requires applying the technology of Moore’s law to not only computation, but to managing the complexity of the system, the storage and the networking technology that comprise it.  
 
It’s the combination of these two Moore’s law functions that enables a growth rate in supercomputing that’s faster than Moore’s law and gives us confidence in achieving our objectives ahead. This combination also drives innovation into the hands of hundreds of thousands of engineers and scientists who use much smaller systems, but whose work is just as economically significant. 
 
HPCwire: Any other comments you’d like to add?
 
Pawlowski: I’m looking forward to coming to ISC again. It has been a while since I’ve attended this important worldwide gathering.  I look forward to the exchange of ideas that will help grow the industry.
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!

IBM Launches Commercial Quantum Network with Samsung, ORNL

December 14, 2017

In the race to commercialize quantum computing, IBM is one of several companies leading the pack. Today, IBM announced it had signed JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Samsung and a number of other corporations to its IBM Q Net Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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…

By HPCwire Staff

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

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…

Microsoft Wants to Speed Quantum Development

December 12, 2017

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

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Launches Commercial Quantum Network with Samsung, ORNL

December 14, 2017

In the race to commercialize quantum computing, IBM is one of several companies leading the pack. Today, IBM announced it had signed JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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 several tech giants jockey to establish a pole position in the race toward commercializ 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

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

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

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

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