This Week in HPC News

By Nicole Hemsoth

February 27, 2014

It’s been another packed week in high performance computing, with a bevy of new partnership, supercomputing installations and news about coming systems hitting our radar.

Interestingly, despite some of the top news items summarized below, one of the most fascinating stories this week (at least in terms of the massive numbers of views/listens) is the podcast interview with a certain mysterious John Fitzpatrick, who claims to have $50 billion lined up for his exascale-class supercomputer that he’ll be opening for currency trading (and donated time for science) in Oregon. Hard to hide the skepticism during the interview, but this couldn’t be ignored in case it actually (somehow) happens. Oh, and by the way, he says the system will be up and running in 2014. So there’s that. (Yes, that’s what I thought too)…

If you’re in the habit of listening, we try to keep things a bit more grounded. However, one more on the (more realistic) speculative technology side to consider is our interview with Dr. Larry Smarr, who talks about everything from new materials, quantum computers and the exascale systems of the future. Other topics included adapting Cray machines for whole genome analysis at Argonne, networks for powering climate research, architectural considerations for astrophysics applications, and more. A fun week, for sure.

Several news items to cover in no particular order…

hall_o_justissSuperlabs Unite for Supercomputing Prowess

A new collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Livermore (CORAL) will seek to develop systems in the 2017-2018 timeframe to support the research missions at their respective institutions.

A joint Request for Proposals for the CORAL procurement was issued Jan. 6 and responses were submitted Feb. 18. These are now being evaluated. The intention is that CORAL partners will select two different vendors and procure a total of three systems, two from one vendor and one from the other. Livermore is leading the procurement process.

Livermore’s system, to be called Sierra, will be best suited to support the applications critical to stockpile stewardship. Oak Ridge and Argonne will employ systems that meet the needs of their DOE Office of Science missions under the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program. Vendors are submitting test clusters now.

A3Cube Comes out of Stealth

The company emerged this week with its ‘brain inspired’ data plane encapsulated in a Network Interface Card (NIC) aimed at transforming storage networking to eliminate the I/O performance gap between CPU power and data access performance for HPC, Big Data and data center applications.

The RONNIEE Express data plane profoundly elevates PCI Express from a simple interconnect to a new intelligent network fabric, leveraging the ubiquity and standardization of PCIe while solving its inherent performance bottlenecks. A3CUBE’s In-Memory Network technology, for the first time, allows direct shared non-coherent global memory across the entire network, enabling global communication based on shared memory segments and direct load/store operations between the nodes. The result is the lowest possible latency, massive scalability and disruptive performance that is orders of magnitude beyond the capabilities of today’s network technologies including, Ethernet, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel.

a3cube

We spoke with the company’s Emilio Billi, CTO and founder of San Jose-based startup, A3Cube, who has picked up a thing or two over the last twenty years of addressing a range of performance bottlenecks at the storage and network levels. In addition to developing the HiDRA “personal supercomputing” and companion code, he helped develop the HyperTransport Consortium’s HyperShare scalable network technology and remains one of the leads behind that effort.

With his new company out of stealth and rushing headlong into a well-established storage and network ecosystem to serve the needs of both HPC and demanding big data environments, he admits that they’re up against some challenges. However, he makes the argument that A3Cube’s technology, which uses PCIe as the interconnect via an enhanced NIC card, can alter the price, performance, and programmability of modern HPC and data-intensive systems.

Billi says that five years ago, when he began work on A3Cube’s host of technology, he was looking for a way to combine storage, compute and fit this within the massively parallel analytics software that’s coming.  As he explained, doing this demanded the creation of “a 3D torus network interconnection data plane (it’s more of a data plane than an interconnection network) that has all the characteristics of supercomputing fabric but was designed specifically to create a massively parallel storage architecture.”

The argument is that storage systems need to take the leap from a few standalone engines to thousands of individual storage devices running in parallel to address the needs of true scale-out storage. This is managed by the PCIe-based approach they call the RONNIEE in-memory network.

As he describes, this is a completely new paradigm for networks that provides a whole application with transparent memory-to-memory direct connections. This “in-memory network discards the protocol stack bottleneck involve in remote memory access, which cuts the latency down even for user-level software.” The key is that the TCP/UPD stack is snatched from view and replaced with their own memory-to-memory mapped TCP/UDP socket as the performance hinge. He says it’s still possible to use RDMA if desired, but they’re adding to ease of programmability by the abstraction.

In other news…

Maxeler and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and are collaborating in a project funded by the UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills to install the next generation of supercomputing technology in a new facility at the Daresbury Laboratory focusing on energy efficient supercomputing and offering orders of magnitude improvement in performance and efficiency to enable UK industry to have the edge in using a technology designed for the move towards Exascale computing.

The dataflow supercomputer will feature Maxeler developed MPC-X nodes capable of an equivalent 8.52TFLOPs per 1U and 8.97 GFLOPs/Watt, a performance per Watt that tops the Green500 today. MPC-X nodes build on the previous generation technology from Maxeler deployed at JP Morgan where real-time risk computation equivalent to 12000 x86 cores was achieved in 40U of dataflow engines. The new MPC-X supercomputer will be available in Summer 2014 and will focus on medical imaging and healthcare data analytics, manufacturing, industrial microscopy, large scale simulations, security, real-time operations risk, and media/entertainment.

Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences has received a multimillion dollar IBM Supercomputer that will place NSU’s research at the forefront of computational biology, data mining, graphic visualization and software engineering.

Each of the 32 nodes will sport 16 Power CPU’s with 256 GB of RAM.  Each CPU has two processor units that can run two threads each. The machine is water-cooled using internal chilled plates and a rear cooling door on each rack. The software stack consists of AIX, General Parallel File System (GPFS), C++, Fortran, IBM Parallel Environment Runtime (PE), Engineering and Scientific Subroutine Library (ESSL), Parallel Engineering and Scientific Subroutine Library (PESSL), and Tivoli Workload Scheduler LoadLeveler. The university says it will use the system for scientific projects as well as to help train the next generation of HPC skilled graduates.

ScaleMP updates vSMP with Version 5.5 and uses the word “configurator” in a sentence, which is awesome. In addition, new pricing has been announced.

vSMP Foundation Version 5.5 is currently available for download or purchase. Highlights of the latest version include, in addition to the “an open, online configurator”–

  • Enhanced hardware support
  • Broader IO support options with AnyIO subsystem. With AnyIO, customers can enable aggregation with almost any device:
  • Any network device, such as 10GigE cards as well as Infiniband cards
  • PCI-flash devices such as Fusion-IO
  • GPUs/accelerators such as Intel Xeon Phi or NVIDIA GPUs
  • Enhanced private interconnect options
  • Mellanox Connect-IB
  • Improved performance for Intel TrueScale
  • Support for recent Intel Xeon Processors: Ivy Bridge – E5-2600v2 and E7-x8xx v2
  • Enhanced performance for IO-intensive and large-memory workloads
  • New flexible pricing model allowing lower price points

For the Presenter in You…

Just a couple of reminders–Student Cluster Competition Applications Are Now Being Accepted and PRACE 8th Call for Proposals Closes with Larger Allocations on All Systems

Thanks again for tuning in this week—back again Monday with more podcasts, announcements and in-depth features.

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!

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than ever, the network plays a crucial role. While fast, perform Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of personalized treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup Read more…

By Warren Froelich

WCRP’s New Strategic Plan for Climate Research Highlights the Importance of HPC

July 19, 2018

As climate modeling increasingly leverages exascale computing and researchers warn of an impending computing gap in climate research, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is developing its new Strategic Plan – and high-performance computing is slated to play a critical role. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

Are Your Software Licenses Impeding Your Productivity?

In my previous article, Improving chip yield rates with cognitive manufacturing, I highlighted the costs associated with semiconductor manufacturing, and how cognitive methods can yield benefits in both design and manufacture.  Read more…

U.S. Exascale Computing Project Releases Software Technology Progress Report

July 19, 2018

As is often noted the race to exascale computing isn’t just about hardware. This week the U.S. Exascale Computing Project (ECP) released its latest Software Technology (ST) Capability Assessment Report detailing progress so far. Read more…

By John Russell

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of perso Read more…

By Warren Froelich

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

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Tsinghua Powers Through ISC18 Field

July 10, 2018

Tsinghua University topped all other competitors at the ISC18 Student Cluster Competition with an overall score of 88.43 out of 100. This gives Tsinghua their s Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE, EPFL Launch Blue Brain 5 Supercomputer

July 10, 2018

HPE and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project yesterday introduced Blue Brain 5, a new supercomputer built by HPE, which displ Read more…

By John Russell

Pumping New Life into HPC Clusters, the Case for Liquid Cooling

July 10, 2018

High Performance Computing (HPC) faces some daunting challenges in the coming years as traditional, industry-standard systems push the boundaries of data center Read more…

By Scott Tease

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

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This