This Week in HPC News

By Nicole Hemsoth

February 20, 2014

Despite the shortened week here in the U.S. with the President’s Day holiday, there was plenty of news fed by the wellspring bubbling around the new Intel Xeon E7 v2 processors. This generation is split into various optimized segments targeting everything from high performance computing (full details here) and large-scale analytics via a keen focus on memory, core count and efficiency options (and prices that fluctuate accordingly).

The robust memory and 15-cores are being touted as ideal for demanding enterprise environments with “big data” capabilities are being targeted at the enterprise while the 8-socket, 10-core HPC variant packs a price-performance punch, coming in at $3838. As Intel’s Joe Curley told us in the wake of the announcement, “You end up with 120 cores in a node, 12 terabytes of memory maximum, you can fit a lot of density and compute there and there are HPC and many other workloads that this will be ideal for.”

XeonMainImageAs expected, a number of vendors jumped out front to announce their support for the new processors, including Silicon Mechanics, Supermicro, HP (with a new variant of the ProLiant series) as well as others who will formally release their new E7-equipped servers in the coming weeks.

Here on the HPCwire front, we’ve had something of an exascale-themed week on the podcast. We spoke at length with Dr. Jack Dongarra on Wednesday about the software and application challenges ahead for exascale-class computing. We also checked in on Thursday with Dr. Bill Tang from Princeton University about the G8 funded International Exascale Program. Both of these are certainly worth a listen as several themes in both intersect.

For those interested in forward-looking HPC technologies, stay tuned as tomorrow (Friday) we’ll feature an extended podcast with Dr. Larry Smarr…touching on everything from brain-inspired and quantum computing to software and application construction for new computing models. This comes in the wake of his most recent award, the Golden Goose…interesting, indeed.

GPUs and the Xeon Phi coprocessor were at the heart of two other conversations we had during this week’s daily Soundbite episodes. We followed up on a popular article from last week about the use of GPU computing to tackle massive human settlement mapping and also talked with two scientists working on acceleration/coprocessing approaches to solving tough physics problems at CERN. More details about their considerations of GPUs and Xeon Phi coprocessors can be found in this more comprehensive overview of their challenges.

More Top News from the Week…

DoD_modernizationThe Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) has just completed its fiscal year 2013 investment in supercomputing capability supporting the DOD science, engineering, test and acquisition communities.

The total acquisition is valued at $50 million, including acquisition of multiple supercomputing systems and hardware, as well as software maintenance services. At nearly three petaFLOPS of computing capability, the acquisition constitutes a more than 50 percent increase in the DOD HPCMP’s current peak computing capability.

ScaleMPScaleMP and Boston Limited announced a partnership this week. The Boston xScaler-vSMP products deliver up to 8.5 TB RAM – the largest memory footprint for an AMD Opteron computing solution.

The xScaler-vSMP starts with 2 Terabytes (TB) of memory coupled with AMD Opteron Model 6386 SE CPUs at an affordable price, starting at $60,000. Incremental memory options of 2TB are available as additional add-ons. The companies noted this week that the xScaler-vSMP is ideal for high performance computing environments with high speed memory requirements, especially those in the life sciences and in-memory analytics camps.

And For High Frequency Trading Gurus – Lucera Financial Infrastructures announced the availability of its high-performance infrastructure to power electronic trading by financial institutions and high-frequency trading (HFT) firms. The ground-breaking Lucera platform enables customers to accelerate time-to-market, high speed connections to marketplaces and exchanges, and reduce operational and regulatory risk while eliminating the capital expense of building and operating a real-time network of customer and exchange connectivity.

“High frequency trading firms, exchanges, banks and hedge funds can reap huge savings and achieve significant improvements in performance by operating their infrastructure on Lucera,” said Jacob Loveless, CEO of Lucera. “Our customers are able to reach new levels of performance by freeing themselves from the time and capital constraints of internal legacy infrastructure.  By using Lucera, clients will be able to connect to more customers and liquidity destinations with much better performance at significantly lower cost.”

For those interested, there’s an excellent, detailed writeup on the full scope of Lucera’s HFT effort over at EnterpriseTech.

On the Horizon

Just a few items worth mentioning for those who make the event circuit.

XSEDE14 Deadlines Approaching

BigSystem 2014 Issues Call for Papers

ScilabTEC 2014 Registration Now Open

Oh, And Hey…

StatsFor those of you who are in HPC outside of the academic and research spectrum, there are a few things we’d like to ask you. Keep in mind that personal and company information is withheld for your security and privacy (as well as that of your organization) but we are curious to see where the emerging technologies we’re writing about so often land on your list of R&D and practical to-do lists.

If you could, please take a gander at our 2014 Risks and Rewards survey, particularly if you and your organization are at the bleeding edge of change. From GPU and coprocessor use and beyond, your results will help us deliver a free, open document that lets you see where your peers are placing their bets for 2014 and beyond.

Here’s a link to the survey… http://survey.gabrielconsultinggroup.com/limesurvey/index.php?sid=82547&lang=en

Thanks for considering—and for your time on this. We can’t wait to share what we’ve learned…but we need your input. 

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 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 and Sierra. The new AC922 server pairs two Power9 CPUs with f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

PEZY President Arrested, Charged with Fraud

December 6, 2017

The head of Japanese supercomputing firm PEZY Computing was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of defrauding a government institution of 431 million yen (~$3.8 million). According to reports in the Japanese press, PEZY founde Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Azure Debuts AMD EPYC Instances for Storage Optimized Workloads

December 5, 2017

AMD’s return to the data center received a boost today when Microsoft Azure announced introduction of instances based on AMD’s EPYC microprocessors. The new instances – Lv2-Series of Virtual Machine – use the EPY Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Unleash the Next Generation of HPC with Memory-Driven Compute

Today’s enterprises are faced with an ever-growing volume of data that contains immense value and intelligence for those who can properly collect, process, and store it. Read more…

Bryant Departs Intel For Google Cloud

December 5, 2017

Google has upped its cloud game with its recruitment of Diane Bryant, the former Intel Corp.'s datacenter boss who becomes chief operating officer of Google Cloud. Bryant, an engineer who worked her way up through the Read more…

By George Leopold

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

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

SC Bids Farewell to Denver, Heads to Dallas for 30th Anniversary

November 17, 2017

After a jam-packed four-day expo and intensive six-day technical program, SC17 has wrapped up another successful event that brought together nearly 13,000 visit Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC17 Keynote – HPC Powers SKA Efforts to Peer Deep into the Cosmos

November 17, 2017

This week’s SC17 keynote – Life, the Universe and Computing: The Story of the SKA Telescope – was a powerful pitch for the potential of Big Science projects that also showcased the foundational role of high performance computing in modern science. It was also visually stunning. 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

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

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

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

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

Share This