Exiting Intel, James Reinders Offers a Brief Personal Retrospective

By James Reinders

June 6, 2016

Editor’s Note: If you are at all interested in parallelism and parallel programming you likely know or have heard of James Reinders, a longtime veteran of Intel who has cut a wide swath in the HPC community. Co-author with James Jeffers of High Performance Parallelism Pearls, Volume 1 (2014) and Volume 2 (2015), Reinders is a prolific writer and tireless pioneer in and advocate of parallelism. Today, of course, parallelism is de rigueur for advancing HPC. Now, after roughly 25 years at Intel – or 10,001 days as Renders puts it – he is ‘retiring’ from Intel. Typically gracious and forthright Reinders penned a letter of thanks to coworkers and friends with a few observations of his time at Intel and progress in HPC. Published here, with his permission, is a slightly edited version. I should note that Reinders is also a frequent contributor to HPCwire and we certainly hope he will continue to be.

You may have heard that Intel has encouraged “long timers” (like me) to consider early retirement. Well, the offer was convincing for me.

After 10,001 days at Intel, it is time for me to start the next phase of my life. I’ve accepted the “ERP offer” (early retirement) with my last day being June 24, 2016 (exactly 10,000 days after my start date). I’ll be in the office as much as needed to help transitions and wrap things up. Let me know if you need/want anything from me as I finish up.

Why 10,001 days at Intel?

The “village” of Intel employees and the many people that I’ve worked with outside Intel, collectively I know of as coworkers and friends, is why I have loved working at Intel all these (27.32) years.

I have been honored to be part of many teams and to have had many roles at Intel. This included being the voice of Intel for parallelism and software tools. I had the privilege to lead, learn from, inspire and be inspired by the world’s best. Of course, it enabled me to literally write novels about the great work we have done together!

I joined Intel in 1989, to work on parallel programming because clock rates had been failing to grow for microprocessors for years. Our project was a VLIW microprocessor called “iWarp” which connected together to form high performance clusters known as systolic arrays. It featured a fully integrated on-die fabric controller with register mapped I/O. Tag-line: “Building Blocks for GigaFlops” (an 8×8 torus, made of 64 iWarp parts, offered 1.2 GFlop/s)

1990 Intel Team Photo with me in it – iWarp Supercomputer Team
I believe this photo was taken in 1990 in Intel building CO4 (Cornell Oaks). Can you spot me? The photo includes a gorilla stand-in for Richard Maliszewski.

1990 Intel team photo Reinders

A big reason there was no second generation iWarp was that clock rates suddenly started to ramp again. iWarp was 20MHz, faster than the contemporary i486. There was little call for low volume solutions for parallelism when high volume performance was rapidly growing by clock rate (no software changes needed). The Intel i486 ramped from 16MHz to 150MHz, the Intel Pentium started at 60MHz… and the race was on! Parallelism suddenly seemed less important to most.

(Don’t worry – it all works out for parallel programming when clocks stopped rising 15 years later.  J)

I’ve had the thrill of shedding blood, sweat, and tears side-by-side with awesome teams to create together:

  • the world’s first 1 TeraFLOP/s supercomputer (ASCI Red) world’s fastest computer
  • the world’s first 3 TeraFLOP/s supercomputer (ASCI Red upgrade) world’s fastest computer
  • the world’s first 1 TeraFLOP/s microprocessor (Knights Corner) powers the world’s fastest computer today
  • the world’s first 3 TeraFLOP/s microprocessor (Knights Landing) destined for greatness

(True fact: I like the number ‘3’ – I organize my numismatics around the denomination three)

Today, in 2016, when clock rates had been failing to grow for microprocessors for years, we are offering performance using parallel computing with a many-core microprocessor called “Knights Landing” to build a clusters. Some SKUs offer Omni-Path fabric control on-package integrated on a parallel processor.  Déjà vu.

Along the way, I led marketing while we put Intel Software Development tools on the map growing >100X in revenue in less than eight years and building the best software channel for tools on the planet with an ever-growing network of “iStep” events to train developers to modernize code. We also convinced Intel to open source a software product for the first time (TBB). I’ve given countless keynotes, and webinars. And, I’ve written countless blogs, book chapters and authored and edited eight technical books with talented people that I respect and have become my close friends.

The Joys of Engineering

I am an engineer. Engineers solve problems. I have always enjoyed that – whether it is a problem in design, architecture, software, customer support, marketing, press relations or technical writing. Problems to solve. I’ve been blessed to work side-by-side with experts in problem solving of all these types, and am better because of it.

I look forward to watching Intel continue to solve problems for years to come.

I am leaving with great pride in what I’ve done over the years as a member of amazing teams. I have accomplished more than I imagined possible when I started my career, and accumulated many friends in the process. All happening in a fantastic demanding collaborative team environment. I could not ask for more.  I have no immediate plans other than to enjoy not traveling (not earning “1K” this year), relaxing, hobbies, low stress, sleeping in, and doting on my wonderful wife. I doubt I will bore of that this year, as I have never been unemployed for even a week, even during school, since my first summer job when I was 16 (and it was a programming job). 🙂 After this year, we’ll see.

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!

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

Google I/O 2018: AI Everywhere; TPU 3.0 Delivers 100+ Petaflops but Requires Liquid Cooling

May 9, 2018

All things AI dominated discussion at yesterday’s opening of Google’s I/O 2018 developers meeting covering much of Google's near-term product roadmap. The e Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown 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

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

Leading Solution Providers

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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