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!

What’s New in HPC Research: Wind Farms, Gravitational Lenses, Web Portals & More

February 19, 2019

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from the nanoscale to the astronomic, from calculating quantum effe Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

What Will IBM’s AI Debater Learn from Its Loss?

February 14, 2019

The utility of IBM’s latest man-versus-machine gambit is debatable. At the very least its Project Debater got us thinking about the potential uses of artificial intelligence as a way of helping humans sift through al Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Systems With Intel Omni-Path: Architected for Value and Accessible High-Performance Computing

Today’s high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) users value high performing clusters. And the higher the performance that their system can deliver, the better. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Medical Research Powered by Data

“We’re all the same, but we’re unique as well. In that uniqueness lies all of the answers….”

  • Mark Tykocinski, MD, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University

Getting the answers to what causes some people to develop diseases and not others is driving the groundbreaking medical research being conducted by the Computational Medicine Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Read more…

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. According to Dutch news site Drimb Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from th Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

UC Berkeley Paper Heralds Rise of Serverless Computing in the Cloud – Do You Agree?

February 13, 2019

Almost exactly ten years to the day from publishing of their widely-read, seminal paper on cloud computing, UC Berkeley researchers have issued another ambitious examination of cloud computing - Cloud Programming Simplified: A Berkeley View on Serverless Computing. The new work heralds the rise of ‘serverless computing’ as the next dominant phase of cloud computing. Read more…

By John Russell

Iowa ‘Grows Its Own’ to Fill the HPC Workforce Pipeline

February 13, 2019

The global workforce that supports advanced computing, scientific software and high-speed research networks is relatively small when you stop to consider the magnitude of the transformative discoveries it empowers. Technical conferences provide a forum where specialists convene to learn about the latest innovations and schedule face-time with colleagues from other institutions. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

Trump Signs Executive Order Launching U.S. AI Initiative

February 11, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) today launching a U.S Artificial Intelligence Initiative. The new initiative - Maintaining American L Read more…

By John Russell

Celebrating Women in Science: Meet Four Women Leading the Way in HPC

February 11, 2019

One only needs to look around at virtually any CS/tech conference to realize that women are underrepresented, and that holds true of HPC. SC hosts over 13,000 H Read more…

By AJ Lauer

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Assessing Government Shutdown’s Impact on HPC

February 6, 2019

After a 35-day federal government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, government agencies are taking stock of the damage -- and girding for a potential secon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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