ISC 2018 Preview from @hpcnotes

By Andrew Jones

June 21, 2018

Editor’s note: As we enter the final countdown to the ISC kickoff in Frankfurt, Andrew Jones (aka @hpcnotes) offers his look at what’s in store for the week ahead.

Prepare for your social media feed to be saturated with #HPC, #ISC18, #Top500, etc. Prepare for your mainstream media to talk about supercomputers (in between the hourly commentary on Brexit, the FIFA World Cup, or US presidential antics). Yes, it’s time for ISC 2018 – the 2nd biggest annual gathering of the world’s High Performance Computing community in Frankfurt next week.

What can we look forward to?

A new holder of the Top500 crown

The world’s fastest supercomputer gets (formally) announced. Assuming you haven’t been hiding in some internet-free corner of the world for the last few weeks, you’ll already have been inundated by the build up to the inauguration of the Summit supercomputer built by [insert ORNL/IBM/NVIDIA/USA/DOE/… depending on who’s PR you are reading]. Barring an almighty shock announcement, the USA/DOE/ORNL/IBM/NVIDIA (and anyone else who can claim involvement) will wrestle the title of world’s fastest supercomputer from the Chinese Sunway TaihuLight. Does it really matter? This article in WiredUK quotes me and Jack Dongarra on this question. In short, my view is that 2x doesn’t deliver competitive leadership on its own, as that is within the reach of better software/people/practices. 10x would matter, as would failing to have the people/software/practices to take advantage of the 2x.

The promise of technology diversity hits reality

We have predicted (SC17 review, HPC benchmarking webinar, 2018 HPC predictions) that the choice of processors (Xeon, EPYC, TX2, Power, GPUs) for HPC systems will be a major issue during 2018. This has been proven true as HPC buyers invest effort (their own research, or via benchmark services such as NAG) to properly evaluate the range of options. However, at ISC18 I expect to hear more about the range of processors being deployed in practice. We know about Power and GPUs at ORNL and LLNL. We know about the Cavium TX2 systems at Bristol (Cray) and Sandia (HPE). Will we hear rumors or confirmed stories of new industry supercomputer wins for Power or TX2 or EPYC at ISC18? My (informed) guess is yes.

Where are the future HPC people?

HPC hardware is all very exciting – but is merely energy hungry modern art with moving pieces unless we have people to program the supercomputers and deliver science and business value using them. I’m pleased to see a lot of action on this front at ISC18. The ISC team will be running a STEM student day on Wednesday 27th to introduce STEM students to the world of computational science and HPC. There will be a Women-in-HPC workshop and reception at ISC18. There will be the usual student HPC cluster competition. (While we are talking about future HPC people, here is a blatant plug for my HPC Leadership Institute training at TACC in September.) I will be trying to coordinate some industry leaders to produce a video promoting careers in HPC to STEM students (please get in touch if you want to get involved).

Attention please!

The usual suspects will do their best to hog the attention of ISC attendees and non-attendees alike. PR from purveyors of products and services in AI/ML, cloud, quantum computing, etc. will demand a share of the attention out of proportion to their actual role in the HPC community. Not to say these can’t/won’t be potential gamer-changers for HPC – they will be – but they are still in their infancy compared to the much more mature and pervasive traditional HPC use cases. ISC18 is a good opportunity to find out the reality and possibilities from peers, talks and exhibitors.

Pick of the agenda

There is so much valuable content on the program at ISC18 it is impossible to attend it all. This is a purely personal list, but if I weren’t constrained by other meetings or travel, I’d make sure I attended these sessions:

  • Tuesday keynote on Photonics by Keren Bergman (who I was lucky enough to be introduced to at a DOE workshop nearly a decade ago);
  • Thomas Sterling’s annual summary of the HPC world on Wednesday (a great speaker and very useful talk);
  • The Industrial Day on Tuesday (industry use of HPC is not new, but it is under-reported – Marie-Christine has pulled together a good list of speakers);
  • The “GoingArm” workshop on Thursday (essential knowledge base as Cavium TX2 starts to appear in deployed HPC systems);
  • Monday’s talk on XALT (knowing what your systems are actually doing / being used for)
  • Tuesday’s session on Cybersecurity for HPC (I’ve been involved in a NIST-led group, including the speaker Sean, to help the community on this topic);
  • Analyst Crossfire on Wednesday (fun, but informative too);
  • … I could go on but I’ll just end up with most of the agenda listed!

I know that face

A major value of ISC (and SC) is the opportunity to meet and network with so many people in the HPC community. Learning from (and helping) peers on technical challenges and opportunities; talking with experts; uncovering career options; and more – ISC18 is about the networking receptions, side meetings, and informal chats after the talks – as much as it is about the exhibition and technical program.

See you all in Frankfurt – if you see me, do feel free to say hello or ask my views on anything to do with HPC!

About the Author

Andrew Jones has over 20 years experience in HPC across industry, government and academia, and is acknowledged as one of the leading voices on the business and people aspects of HPC. Andrew is VP of NAG’s international impartial HPC consulting practice, which is trusted by clients around the world to provide expert advice on strategy, technology and software performance for HPC and cloud. Andrew is active on twitter as @hpcnotes.

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!

Nvidia Rolls Out Certified Server Program Targeting AI Applications

January 26, 2021

Nvidia today launched a certified systems program in which participating vendors can offer Nvidia-certified servers with up to eight A100 GPUs. Separate support contracts directly from Nvidia for the certified systems ar Read more…

By John Russell

XSEDE Supercomputers Square Off Against Ebola

January 26, 2021

COVID-19 may have dominated headlines and occupied much of the world’s scientific computing capacity over the last year, but many researchers continued their work to keep other deadly viruses at bay. One of those, Ebol Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

What’s New in HPC Research: Galaxies, Fugaku, Electron Microscopes & More

January 25, 2021

In this regular 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

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has unveiled alternatives for affected users that give them severa Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

China Unveils First 7nm Chip: Big Island

January 22, 2021

Shanghai Tianshu Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co. is claiming China’s first 7-nanometer chip, described as a leading-edge, general-purpose cloud computing chip based on a proprietary GPU architecture. Dubbed “Big Island Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

Fire Dynamics Simulation CFD workflow on AWS

Modeling fires is key for many industries, from the design of new buildings, defining evacuation procedures for trains, planes and ships, and even the spread of wildfires. Read more…

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practical application, and what are some of the key opportunities a Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Rolls Out Certified Server Program Targeting AI Applications

January 26, 2021

Nvidia today launched a certified systems program in which participating vendors can offer Nvidia-certified servers with up to eight A100 GPUs. Separate support Read more…

By John Russell

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has un Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practic Read more…

By John Russell

HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

President-elect Biden Taps Eric Lander and Deep Team on Science Policy

January 19, 2021

Last Friday U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named The Broad Institute founding director and president Eric Lander as his science advisor and as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lander, 63, is a mathematician by training and distinguished life sciences... Read more…

By John Russell

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Aurora’s Troubles Move Frontier into Pole Exascale Position

October 1, 2020

Intel’s 7nm node delay has raised questions about the status of the Aurora supercomputer that was scheduled to be stood up at Argonne National Laboratory next year. Aurora was in the running to be the United States’ first exascale supercomputer although it was on a contemporaneous timeline with... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

At Oak Ridge, ‘End of Life’ Sometimes Isn’t

October 31, 2020

Sometimes, the old dog actually does go live on a farm. HPC systems are often cursed with short lifespans, as they are continually supplanted by the latest and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Xe-HP GPU Deployed for Aurora Exascale Development

November 17, 2020

At SC20, Intel announced that it is making its Xe-HP high performance discrete GPUs available to early access developers. Notably, the new chips have been deplo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia-Arm Deal a Boon for RISC-V?

October 26, 2020

The $40 billion blockbuster acquisition deal that will bring chipmaker Arm into the Nvidia corporate family could provide a boost for the competing RISC-V architecture. As regulators in the U.S., China and the European Union begin scrutinizing the impact of the blockbuster deal on semiconductor industry competition and innovation, the deal has at the very least... Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE, AMD and EuroHPC Partner for Pre-Exascale LUMI Supercomputer

October 21, 2020

Not even a week after Nvidia announced that it would be providing hardware for the first four of the eight planned EuroHPC systems, HPE and AMD are announcing a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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