This Week in HPC News

By Tiffany Trader

April 24, 2014

Last week, we noted the doubling in the number of research items coming from across the supercomputing spectrum and this week was no different. The uptick that we’ve seen this month in terms of new research and development efforts continues. The academic news was especially strong, with a number of Moore’s law themed items – see here, here and here.

Among the more noteworthy stories are a €700,000 HPC investment from a group of animal breeding researchers, who will use the supercomputer to perform calculations related to animal genetics as well as an innovative computational algorithm from researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Maryland that significantly speeds up gene expression analysis. We also reported on the efforts of the HPC-SME to boost HPC adoption among the SME community in France.

Perhaps the most significant research-oriented story of the week came out of Texas Advanced Computing Center, where scientists have uncovered a link between Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer that may pave the way for better treatment options and new medicines.

Moving on, let’s give a warm round of applause to all the students who participated in two separate student supercomputing challenges and all the supporting players who make these events possible. The 2014 Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC14) kicked off on Monday in Guangzhou, China. Held at the Sun Yat-sen University campus – home to the world’s fastest supercomputer Tianhe-2 – the event aims to motivate students to study supercomputing and improve students’ ability to tackle a range of real problems. Among the 16 teams who made it to the finals round is the Purdue University team, the Boilermakers, the only US team to do so. We’ll be reporting on the winners early next week, but just to make it into this event is a huge accomplishment.

But China was not the only venue with a student supercomputing challenge this week. The 24th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM, welcomed more than 240 students (about 70 teams) from schools around the state. Open to any New Mexico high-school, middle-school or elementary school student, the learning event is geared to teaching a wide range of skills, including research, writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentations and computer programming. The top honors went to Eli Echt-Wilson and Albert Zuo from Albuquerque’s La Cueva High School for their computational model of deciduous tree growth with an emphasis on maximizing carbon sequestration.

Top News Items This Week

IBM logoThe big vendor story this week was IBM’s unveiling of POWER8, the next generation of its Power Systems architecture and servers. Although the servers are being targeted at what the firm is calling “an era of big data” their CAPI interconnect has some crying HPC. The new servers are the first physical products emerging from the OpenPOWER foundation, an industry alliance formed by IBM, Mellanox Technologies, NVIDIA, and Tyan, that makes POWER hardware and software available for open development, as well as POWER intellectual property licensable to other manufacturers. The group, which launched nine months ago, now has 25 members.

ALTERA logoAltera becomes the first programmable logic company to integrate hardened IEEE 754-compliant, floating-point operators in an FPGA, delivering higher levels of DSP performance, designer productivity and logic efficiency. The hardened floating point DSP blocks are integrated in Altera’s 20 nm Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs – currently shipping – as well as 14 nm Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs. The company says: “integrated hardened floating-point DSP blocks, combined with an advanced high-level tool flow, enable customers to use Altera’s FPGAs and SoCs to address an expanding range of computationally intensive applications, such as high-performance computing (HPC), radar, scientific and medical imaging.” Will this be the tipping point for FPGAs in HPC?

allinea_ddt_200.jpgThe Holland Computing Center HPC support team at the University of Nebraska have adopted Allinea Software’s unified debugging and profiling tools across four clusters – a total of around 20,000 compute cores – for the University of Nebraska campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney. HPC Applications Specialist, Adam Caprez, needed a solution that would free up user time. “The tools have made it so much easier to debug MPI or multi-threaded programs when someone comes to me with an issue,” he says. “I recently used Allinea DDT to help a faculty member to debug some MPI code that he’d inherited from another institution. Allinea DDT really helped us to narrow it down and identify what the esoteric problem was. It was really useful.”

NCAR-UCARThe National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) announced their intent to join the Intel Parallel Computing Centers program. The program is part of the research and academic work that Intel supports in the quest for increasing efficiency and optimization of parallel microprocessor computer architectures. Participants work on developing methods to increase the performance of applications that use advanced microprocessor technologies and help train the next generation of scientists and engineers who will apply these new technologies to challenges of societal importance.

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!

Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is stepping down after two years to return to Argonne National L Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles the agenda addresse Read more…

By Merle Giles

NSF Awards $10M to Extend Chameleon Cloud Testbed Project

September 19, 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded a second phase, $10 million grant to the Chameleon cloud computing testbed project led by University of Chicago with partners at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Ren Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Prepares Customers for Success with the HPC Software Portfolio

High performance computing (HPC) software is key to harnessing the full power of HPC environments. Development and management tools enable IT departments to streamline installation and maintenance of their systems as well as create, optimize, and run their HPC applications. Read more…

NERSC Simulations Shed Light on Fusion Reaction Turbulence

September 19, 2017

Understanding fusion reactions in detail – particularly plasma turbulence – is critical to the effort to bring fusion power to reality. Recent work including roughly 70 million hours of compute time at the National E Read more…

Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is s Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blu Read more…

By Merle Giles

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

September 15, 2017

On Friday, Sept. 8, Kathy Yelick of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote address on “Breakt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Pledges Another $300 Million for Post-Moore’s Readiness

September 14, 2017

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a giant funding effort to ensure the United States can sustain the pace of electronic innovation vital to both a flourishing economy and a secure military. Under the banner of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), some $500-$800 million will be invested in post-Moore’s Law technologies. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Breaks Ground for Complex Quantum Chemistry

September 14, 2017

IBM has reported the use of a novel algorithm to simulate BeH2 (beryllium-hydride) on a quantum computer. This is the largest molecule so far simulated on a quantum computer. The technique, which used six qubits of a seven-qubit system, is an important step forward and may suggest an approach to simulating ever larger molecules. Read more…

By John Russell

Cubes, Culture, and a New Challenge: Trish Damkroger Talks about Life at Intel—and Why HPC Matters More Than Ever

September 13, 2017

Trish Damkroger wasn’t looking to change jobs when she attended SC15 in Austin, Texas. Capping a 15-year career within Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories, she was acting Associate Director for Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Her mission was to equip the lab’s scientists and research partners with resources that would advance their cutting-edge work... Read more…

By Jan Rowell

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

MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab Targets Algorithms, AI Physics

September 7, 2017

Investment continues to flow into artificial intelligence research, especially in key areas such as AI algorithms that promise to move the technology from speci Read more…

By George Leopold

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

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

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

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

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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