News Roundup: The Week in HPC

By Nicole Hemsoth

January 16, 2014

We’re all fully back from the extended holiday break, or so it would appear given the uptick in the news cycle. To be fair, however, much of what we noticed coming off the wires here in early January had a definite enterprise twist with announcements from SGI, IBM and others about offerings wrapped around large-scale analytics and cloud computing.

On the research front, we saw some notable announcements, including from Indiana University, which will be working on two new supercomputing projects and learned about how the soon-to-be-retired Kraken supercomputer chewed on some complex nanoscale materials problems for researchers at NICS. For those interested in the latter, subscribe to the podcast where the lead scientist on that project talks about the use of Kraken, the evaluation of new architectures for the post-Kraken era, and what his compute-driven research will mean to a number of fields.

On that note, Soundbite listeners will notice that HPCwire is now carrying a daily podcast Monday through Friday featuring interviews with key researchers, thought leaders and news makers in the arena of high performance computing. During our inaugural week of the series we’ve talked with the Ohio Supercomputer Center, a researcher from NERSC, and will continue the trend with more engaging chats in the coming days.

Speaking of research, we noticed that Silicon Mechanics is hosting a research cluster grant competition. They’ve configured an HPC cluster, valued at about $190,000,which includes hardware and software donated by Intel, NVIDIA, HGST, Mellanox Technologies, Supermicro, Seagate, Kingston Technology, Bright Computing, and LSI Logic. This year’s HPC cluster contains eight compute nodes, one head node, Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, and InfiniBand and Gigabit Ethernet networking. Not bad…more details here.

But back to the top news items for the week ending January 17…We feature an enterprise twist on HPC as most of the announcements that we caught off the wire crossed the HPC and business boundaries. We’ll begin with some positive news for parallel computing on the cheap….

adaptevaAdapteva Scores Funding Round

We’ve been following parallel processing startup Adapteva for a number of years here at HPCwire, most recently following their successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised close to a million dollars in community donations. This week more good news came for the company with a $3.6 million investment round from Carmel Ventures and communications technology company, Ericsson.

In its five years, Adapteva has produced a unique, scalable and energy-efficient architecture and IP for parallel processing, delivering two parallel processing accelerator chips in 2011. The 16-core and 64-core Epiphany chips are C/C++ programmable floating-point capable RISC multicore processors able to deliver 50GFLOPS/watt.

Adapteva’s Parallella board, a credit card-sized ARM-based computer with an FPGA and its own Epiphany processor made waves with its $99 price tag, not to mention its performance capabilities for under 5MW.

“Parallel processing and high performance computing (HPC) are of huge interest to us as these markets are developing quickly and changing dramatically,” said Ori Bendori, partner at Carmel Ventures. “Adapteva’s approach is very different than the traditional silicon vendor model and we believe this could lead an industry transformation – just the type of innovation we like to invest in.”

holoradarNVIDIA, Supermicro Show Off Holographic Radar

We often share stories about GPU computing in research environments, but a recent announcement this week from Boston Ltd. NVIDIA and Supermicro showed another novel use of acceleration—this time in some new high-flying context.

UK technology company, Aveillant, has successfully completed its two week live demonstrations at Glasgow Prestwick Airport which show that its Holographic Radar reliably removes wind turbines from airport radars with no degradation to radar performance, paving the way for wind farms to be safely built near airports.

Having been in development for two years, the Holographic Radar builds 3D trajectories of moving objects in its field of view and can intelligently differentiate between various types of objects such as aircrafts or wind turbines. Subsequently, it can reliably detect aircrafts and feed their positioning back to the Air Traffic Control system in real-time, allowing controllers to have a consistent and accurate view of the aircraft at all times when passing over a wind farm, maintaining the safety of pilots and the public.

“The processing of these large quantities of data would have previously required around a thousand Cray super computers, costing millions and consuming a substantial amount of energy themselves,” said Peter Wurmsdobler, lead software engineer at Aveillant. “Boston Ltd was able to deliver high performance NVIDIA GPU-powered computers from Supermicro UK, making it both technically and economically viable to continuously process all data captured”.

air_franceHP Helps Air France Build Large-Scale Private Cloud

HP has announced that Air France has automated and increased the reliability of its 1,500 Linux servers by deploying a private cloud solution based on HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) software to accelerate deployment times for physical and virtual infrastructures.

As HP said today, “With between 350 and 500 installations and reinstallations annually, Air France’s Linux server farm is growing rapidly. In light of the resource costs incurred by these installations, and the increasing convergence between Air France and KLM, it became necessary to standardize on a single tool to automate the deployment of operating systems, middleware, monitoring tools and capacity management. The HP solution, which paid for itself within a year, significantly reduced the time it was taking to bring environments into service while improving quality and reducing operational costs.”

“Since automating our installation processes, we have gone from around six days for installing a server cluster to one day and, instead of more than 24 hours, it now takes less than 15 minutes to install one virtual machine,” said Patrick Bourel, head of Open Systems, Air France. “This scalable platform will allow Air France to put in place monitoring and audit tools in order to achieve better quality of service.”

sgi_logoSGI to Bring SAP Appliances to Market

SGI announced plans this week to develop an in-memory appliance based on the SAP HANA platform.  Using the scalable shared memory architecture of SGI’s next-generation UV system together with SAP HANA, the new in-memory appliance from SGI will be designed to streamline database management for single large node environments, which require extremely high capacity and scale to meet the needs of in-memory databases.

According to SGI, “The new SGI computing system is expected to help enable businesses and government agencies running high volume databases and multi-tenant environments to leverage high performance DRAM that can offer up to 200x the performance of flash memory to help deliver faster insight. In addition, SGI’s shared memory technology will enable unprecedented scale in a single node, helping to enable customers to reduce the cost of management by up to 50 percent compared with multi-node solutions.”

“Many companies are running database sizes and multi-tenant environments that require exceptional scale-up capacity capabilities, where SGI leads with its expertise and technology,” said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. “By working with SAP, a trusted provider to the enterprise and one of the innovative leaders in in-memory technology, SGI will now be able to target a significant high-end user requirement, representing an exciting market opportunity for us.”

cloud_intenralIBM Bolsters Analytics, Cloud Offerings

This week IBM announced its new X6 architecture, which applies to its System X and Pure Systems line. The new architecture is aimed at analytics, database and cloud workloads and features integrated eXFlash memory channel storage, a DIMM-based storage offering that provides 12.8 terabytes close to the processor site. IBM says this means that X6 will offer lower latency for database operations and reduce cost overhead by eliminating the need for external SAN/NAS storage units. In addition, they also announced a new storage offering for the cloud, database and analytics market with their IBM FlashSystem 840, which provides 1.1 million IOPS—a doubling in performance over the previous line.

Be sure to check out the events listing to find out where the best places to meet will be this coming year.

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!

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together about 30 participants from industry, government and academia t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Researchers Scale COSMO Climate Code to 4888 GPUs on Piz Daint

October 17, 2017

Effective global climate simulation, sorely needed to anticipate and cope with global warming, has long been computationally challenging. Two of the major obstacles are the needed resolution and prolonged time to compute Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Transforming Genomic Analytics with HPC-Accelerated Insights

Advancements in the field of genomics are revolutionizing our understanding of human biology, rapidly accelerating the discovery and treatment of genetic diseases, and dramatically improving human health. Read more…

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Cluster Competition coverage has come to its natural home: H Read more…

By Dan Olds

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST

October 10, 2017

Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

Intel Debuts Programmable Acceleration Card

October 5, 2017

With a view toward supporting complex, data-intensive applications, such as AI inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and genomics, Intel i Read more…

By Doug Black

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

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

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

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ 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

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in 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

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

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. 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

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

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