This Week in HPC News

By Tiffany Trader

June 12, 2014

If middleware was the theme from last week, then this week is all about hardware, from networking/interconnects (Arista) to systems (HP) to storage (Panasas). Let’s look at little closer at this week’s top stories, starting with HP.

HP’s rebooting of the Apollo brand this week was well received. This new family of high performance computing systems aims to balance high density with energy efficiency, and raw performance. Called “HP Apollo” – although HP says there’s no connection to the workstation firm that it acquired back in 1989 – the line includes two new “Apollo” server systems: the air-cooled Apollo 6000, intended for dense, enterprise deployments, and the liquid-cooled Apollo 8000 for large-scale high-performance computing.

HP logo 2014After the Apollo launch, HP still had another announcement up its sleeve. At the Discover 2014 conference in Las Vegas, HP CEO Meg Whitman and Martin Fink, its CTO and the head of HP Labs, unveiled a massive new architecture project, referred to as the Machine.

“Why do we call it The Machine?,” queries Fink. “When we first started developing it, we wanted to be very careful not to call it a server, workstation, PC, device or phone, because it actually encompasses all of those things. So as we were waiting for Marketing to come up with a cool code name for the project, we started calling it The Machine—and the name stuck.”

So what is the Machine? In a nutshell, it’s a new computer architecture based on memristors and silicon photonics. In his feature coverage at Enterprise Tech, Timothy Prickett Morgan elaborates:

“With the Machine, HP is going to tightly couple custom-tuned processors with its memristor non-volatile memory, which has been in development for the past six years, to create a system that eliminates the nine to eleven stages of memory and storage hierarchy that are in a server these days.”

Fink said the concept can be summarized in six words: electrons compute, photons communicate, ions store.

The project has the attention of 75 percent of HP’s R&D division, HP Labs, and HP’s roadmap shows the Machine coming to market over the next two years.

Panasas logo 2014On Tuesday, Panasas, a vendor of scale-out NAS, announced enhancements to its ActiveStor 16 hybrid storage appliance and to its PanFS 6.0 parallel file system. The PanFS 6.0 file system now features RAID 6+ triple parity data protection, and the ActiveStor 16 array employs 6TB HGST UltraStar He6 helium-filled drives and a larger 240GB solid state disk.

“With big data workloads pulling high performance computing into the mainstream of the enterprise, customers’ expectations for reliability and availability have increased at a time when traditional data protection has reached its limits,” said Steve Conway, research vice president, IDC. “The developments in Panasas ActiveStor 16 and PanFS 6.0 show timely industry leadership in addressing this growing concern and tackling the challenges of reliability and availability at scale.”

ARISTA logo 2014Last Friday, Arista Networks, Inc. announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 5.2 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $43.00 per share. The company is valued at around $2.75 billion and the IPO generated about $226 million. Currently, the stock is trading at $66.

In covering the story, Editor Nicole Hemsoth writes “To be clear, other than having a heavier warchest to throw at new Ethernet efforts, Arista’s role in HPC will remain small, although for some workloads in oil and gas and financial services (especially where InfiniBand has been foregone in the past due to a lack of latency and bandwidth sensitivity) it will remain a top choice.”

Notable HPC use cases for Arista technology include BP’s 2.2 petaflop system and the San Diego Supercomputer Center’s 5.5 petabyte-capacity cloud storage system. Arista has a similar deployment at Los Alamos National Lab through a partnership with Panasas. “The real stories about Arista’s success in HPC datacenters, however,” writes Hemsoth, “is locked behind the guarded walls at high frequency trading shops, among others, where the network’s secret sauce is part of a much larger approach to ultra-fast computing that we’ll never hear about.”

intersect360logoA recent report from Intersect360 Research shows the worldwide HPC market expanding at a 4.6% compound annual growth rate over the next four years in spite of mixed signals from vendors and lethargic public sector spending. Intersect360 Research’s newly released Worldwide High Performance Computing 2013 Total Market Model and 2014–18 Forecast states: “despite weakness in the public sector caused by government austerity programs, commercial vertical markets were strong enough to drive 2013 HPC revenue to $30.5 billion worldwide, 2.5% growth over 2012.” With continued recovery putting wind in its sales, the HPC market should reach $38.1 billion by 2018, according to the research firm.

Other interesting data points from the study:

  • Cloud computing market is forecasted to grow 18.6 percent during the same time period (2014-2018)
  • For the first time, cloud comprises a full percentage point of the HPC market.

At the national research level, a working group of the National Institutes of Health is requesting funding for the US Brain Initiative, to the tune of $4.5 billion dollars. Champions of the program maintain that the amount is inline with other grand challenge programs. For example the Human Genome Project, the 10-year project that resulted in the first human genome being sequenced in 2003, had a price tag of $3 billion. The NIH is expected to award its first BRAIN grants this September. There will also be opportunities for US BRAIN project researchers to coordinate efforts with its European counterpart, the Human Brain Project, which has been awarded $1.3 billion over 10 years.

On the Road

International Supercomputing Community to Gather in Leipzig From June 22-26

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!

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 “pre-exascale” award), parsed out additional information ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid whoops and hollers from the crowd, Thomas Sterling presented t Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out plans to push deeper into climate science and develop more gran Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale companies and their embrace of AI and deep learning – tha Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Creating a Roadmap for HPC Innovation at ISC 2017

In an era where technological advancements are driving innovation to every sector, and powering major economic and scientific breakthroughs, high performance computing (HPC) is crucial to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Read more…

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network designed to emulate and compete with the human brain. In thi Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big data and artificial intelligence software to its top-of-the-l Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “global” launch event in Austin TX. In many ways it was a fu Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it, analysts and journalists want to report on it. Deep learni Read more…

By Doug Black

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

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid wh Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out pla Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale Read more…

By Doug Black

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big d Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “g Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it Read more…

By Doug Black

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

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

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

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

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

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

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 the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

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 Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

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

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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