This Week in HPC News

By Nicole Hemsoth

March 28, 2014

This week’s HPC news wrap comes from high above the U.S. during a fly-back from the GPU Technology Conference, which took place in San Jose, California. NVIDIA touted record attendance for the event, which is in its fifth year. Eye candy aside (there’s always plenty to be found at a graphics-centric show) we were thrilled with the level of high-end computing investment in terms of talks, poster sessions and new product sneak peeks.

As we discussed in some details around a few key announcements on the interconnect and future roadmap fronts, there was no shortage of HPC to be found—in fact, it seemed the supercomputing sessions had been stepped up considerably, in part due to the efforts of Jack Wells from Oak Ridge, who chaired the extreme scale GPU computing series at GTC this year. More on that in the context of GPU usage on Titan in particular can be found here.

GTCPhotoWhile a great deal of content at GTC focused on HPC, there was quite a bit of conversation around large-scale data analysis, graph analytics, and the future of platforms designed to tackle massive datasets with high performance approaches. While not GPU-specific, just before leaving for GTC we spoke on the podcast with Dr. Geoffrey Fox from Indiana University about how the two worlds of HPC and “big data” are blending (and also opposed)—a great overview for those interested.

We’ll be better equipped to put GPU and accelerator/coprocessor momentum (not to mention all of the work that’s being done to address data-intensive computing needs) for HPC into a more focused spotlight early April as we catch up with IDC at their User Forum event in Santa Fe.

While we were in GPU land, the news cycle refreshed with a few important system upgrade and new build announcements. Without further delay…

This Week’s Top News Items

riken120x48Fujitsu put the finishing touches on a supercomputer ordered by the SPring-8 Center, a part of RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution.

At the core of the new system is the FUJITSU Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX10. Due to commence operation in April 2014, it will have a theoretical peak performance of 90.8 teraflops (TFLOPS).

The RIKEN SPring-8 Center currently plans to use the K computer to analyze the enormous volumes of data being generated by the SACLA X-ray free-electron laser, with the goal of understanding the structures and functions of nanomaterials.

archerThe £43 million supercomputer has been announced at the University of Edinburgh. The system will provide high performance computing support for research and industry projects in the UK.

ARCHER (an acronym for Academic Research Computing High End Resource) will help researchers carry out sophisticated, complex calculations in diverse areas such as simulating the Earth’s climate, calculating the airflow around aircraft, and designing novel materials.

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) – working on behalf of F4E to implement and run the datacenter for nuclear fusion at Rokkasho in Japan – is expanding the power of the Helios supercomputer by equipping it with additional bullx nodes featuring Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors.

Helios, which is designed and operated by Bull, supports research work aimed at controlling nuclear fusion, so as to refine a sustainable energy source that produces no carbon dioxide emissions or other greenhouse gasses. The system provides modeling and simulation capacity which is open to all European and Japanese researchers under the ‘Broader Approach’, a research program that complements the international cooperative ITER program.

Super Micro has debuted the first server of its new Ultra Architecture SuperServer series, the 2U 2-Node UltraTwin. This new 2U SuperServer features two hot-swappable 1U nodes each supporting dual Intel Xeon E7-2880 v2 processors, up to 1TB in 32x DIMM slots, 2x 2.5″ NMVe SSDs, 8x 12Gb/s SAS 3.0 2.5″ HDD/SSDs, PCI-E 3.0 expansion in 2x full height, half length and 1x MicroLP cards and onboard support for 2x 10GBase-T ports.

UltraTwin supports redundant 1280W (1+1) Platinum Level High-Efficiency (95%) Digital Switching power supplies powering new proprietary serverboards designed to maximize compute/memory density and eliminate CPU pre-heat. High core counts, memory capacity and accelerated storage technologies combined with wide I/O bandwidth make this new system perfectly suited for virtualization applications and high memory bandwidth in datacenter and HPC clusters.

The NSF has awarded a $500,000 grant to researchers at Texas Tech University to develop a new supercomputer prototype that could lead to more efficient data-intensive computing – and speed-up the scientific discovery cycle.

The team’s goal is to create a supercomputer that will enable academic departments, cross-disciplinary units and collaborators to analyze and utilize their data, and put them to use with accuracy, speed and efficiency. They will rather spend the majority of their time manipulating data, rather than doing actual computing. The amount of computing time is significantly less, than the data access/movement time.

On the Road

We are booked and ready to roll for a few upcoming events, including the IDC User Forum in Santa Fe and of course, the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany. In between, there are a few other events and happenings on the horizon:

PRACE Announces Summer of HPC

Speakers Announced for Upcoming Leverage Big Data 2014 Summit

A Final Note…Our Sympathies

Ricky Kendall, former Group Leader for Scientific Computing and NCCS Chief Computational Scientist, passed away on Tuesday, 18 March 2014, following a heart attack. He was 53 years old. Ricky was critical to building the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, and building our Scientific Computing Group in particular. His ‘whatever it takes’ attitude clearly helped set the tone for the success of what has been a very ambitious Leadership Computing initiative. Indeed, Ricky was formally recognized for his leadership at the ORNL 2011 Honors and Awards ceremonies.

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, D-Wave Report Quantum Computing Advances

May 18, 2017

IBM said this week it has built and tested a pair of quantum computing processors, including a prototype of a commercial version. That progress follows an an Read more…

By George Leopold

PRACEdays 2017 Wraps Up in Barcelona

May 18, 2017

Barcelona has been absolutely lovely; the weather, the food, the people. I am, sadly, finishing my last day at PRACEdays 2017 with two sessions: an in-depth loo Read more…

By Kim McMahon

US, Europe, Japan Deepen Research Computing Partnership

May 18, 2017

On May 17, 2017, a ceremony was held during the PRACEdays 2017 conference in Barcelona to announce the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PRACE in Europe Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NSF, IARPA, and SRC Push into “Semiconductor Synthetic Biology” Computing

May 18, 2017

Research into how biological systems might be fashioned into computational technology has a long history with various DNA-based computing approaches explored. N Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Supercomputers Helping Researchers Predict Climate Change

Today’s weather and climate scientists are tasked with analyzing a massive tidal wave of data in order to better understand and predict significant changes affecting the climate. Read more…

DOE’s HPC4Mfg Leads to Paper Manufacturing Improvement

May 17, 2017

Papermaking ranks third behind only petroleum refining and chemical production in terms of energy consumption. Recently, simulations made possible by the U.S. D Read more…

By John Russell

PRACEdays 2017: The start of a beautiful week in Barcelona

May 17, 2017

Touching down in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, it was warm, sunny, and oh so Spanish. I was greeted at my hotel with a glass of Cava to sip and treated to a Read more…

By Kim McMahon

NSF Issues $60M RFP for “Towards a Leadership-Class” System

May 16, 2017

In case you missed it, the National Science Foundation issued the request for proposals (RFP) for the next ‘Towards a Leadership-Class Computing Facility – Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Offers Supercomputing as a Service, Targets Biotechs First

May 16, 2017

Leading supercomputer vendor Cray and datacenter/cloud provider the Markley Group today announced plans to jointly deliver supercomputing as a service. The init Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Offers Supercomputing as a Service, Targets Biotechs First

May 16, 2017

Leading supercomputer vendor Cray and datacenter/cloud provider the Markley Group today announced plans to jointly deliver supercomputing as a service. The init Read more…

By John Russell

HPE’s Memory-centric The Machine Coming into View, Opens ARMs to 3rd-party Developers

May 16, 2017

Announced three years ago, HPE’s The Machine is said to be the largest R&D program in the venerable company’s history, one that could be progressing tow Read more…

By Doug Black

What’s Up with Hyperion as It Transitions From IDC?

May 15, 2017

If you’re wondering what’s happening with Hyperion Research – formerly the IDC HPC group – apparently you are not alone, says Steve Conway, now senior V Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Launches Servers, Services, and Collaboration at GTC

May 10, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today launched a new liquid cooled GPU-driven Apollo platform based on SGI ICE architecture, a new collaboration with NVIDIA, a Read more…

By John Russell

IBM PowerAI Tools Aim to Ease Deep Learning Data Prep, Shorten Training 

May 10, 2017

A new set of GPU-powered AI software announced by IBM today brings automation to many of the tedious, time consuming and complex aspects of AI project on-rampin Read more…

By Doug Black

Bright Computing 8.0 Adds Azure, Expands Machine Learning Support

May 9, 2017

Bright Computing, long a prominent provider of cluster management tools for HPC, today released version 8.0 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack. The Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Azure Will Debut Pascal GPU Instances This Year

May 8, 2017

As Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference gets underway in San Jose, Calif., Microsoft today revealed plans to add Pascal-generation GPU horsepower to its Azure clo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

Since our first formal product releases of OSPRay and OpenSWR libraries in 2016, CPU-based Software Defined Visualization (SDVis) has achieved wide-spread adopt Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Last week, Google reported that its custom ASIC Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) was 15-30x faster for inferencing workloads than Nvidia's K80 GPU (see our coverage Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a ne Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which w Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling Read more…

By Steve Campbell

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Eng Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn't made the task of parallel progr Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu's Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural networ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

As China continues to prove its supercomputing mettle via the Top500 list and the forward march of its ambitious plans to stand up an exascale machine by 2020, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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