Hyperion Sets Agenda for HPC User Forum in Europe

By John Russell

January 3, 2018

Regional HPC strategies, including the perennial jostling for sway among Europe, the U.S., and Japan, will highlight the HPC User Forum, Europe, scheduled for March 6-7 in France. Hyperion Research, organizer of the event and administrator of the HPC User Forum, just released the preliminary agenda. Besides global competition, AI, industrial HPC use, and a dinner talk on quantum computing are all on the docket.

“Because of China’s rapid rise in the Top500 rankings and the Chinese government’s well-funded plans to deploy the first exascale system, many HPC observers see future supercomputing leadership as a two-horse race between relative newcomer China and long-time leader the United States. In reality, it’s at least a four-horse race that includes two other serious contenders, Europe and Japan,” says Steve Conway, SVP research, Hyperion.

Steve Conway, Hyperion SVP

“That’s one of the things we’ll highlight at the March HPC User Forum meeting: the global nature of the push to advance the state-of-the-art in supercomputing. We’ll have senior officials from Europe, Japan and the U.S.  We haven’t secured a speaker from China, but we’d welcome one. Once you abandon the idea that leadership is limited to Linpack performance, it becomes clear that each of these four contenders is likely to be the future supercomputing leader in some important respects and to advance the state-of-the-art in supercomputing. I’m talking about the 2023-2024 era, when we’re likely to see productive exascale supercomputers from multiple parts of the world, rather than just smaller-scale prototypes and early machines.”

Here are a few agenda highlights:

  • European HPC Strategy, Thomas Skordas or Leonardo Flores, European Commission
  • Japan’s Flagship 2020 Project, Shig Okaya, Flagship 2020/RIKEN
  • View from America, Dimitri Kuznesov and Barbara Helland, DOE
  • HPC-based AI/Deep Learning in the Commercial World, Arno Kolster, Providentia Worldwide
  • Worldwide Study on HPC Centers and Industrial Users, Steve Conway, Hyperion
  • Exascale Computing Project Update, Doug Kothe

According to Conway, the U.S. has a hefty lead in processors and accelerators, but he expects gains for ARM-based designs and indigenous Chinese processors. “When it comes to highly scalable system and application software, the U.S. and Europe stand out, with each excelling in different scientific domains. Europe is also very strong in scalable software for industrial applications. The U.S., Japan and Europe have the largest, most experienced HPC user communities but China is gaining ground quickly. Historically, Japan has shown the ability to mount herculean efforts and jump to the head of the pack,” he says.

So, the race is on. Interestingly, there’s still a fair amount of international collaboration. Rougly a year ago, France’s CEA and Japan’s RIKEN announced they would join forces to advance the ARM ecosystem. CEA and Teratec are co-hosting the March User Forum meeting. There are also initiatives such as the International Exascale Software Project. The exascale race promises to be more multi-dimensional than just a Linpack bake-off says Conway.

This meeting, held at the Très Grand Centre de Calcul du CEA (TGCC) on the Teratec campus in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France (close to Paris), will be the first HPC User Forum run by Hyperion since becoming an independent company in December. Registration for the conference is free. For more information about registering: http://www.hpcuserforum.com

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