What’s New in HPC Research: Astra, Cabernet, the Cloud Performance Gap & More

By Oliver Peckham

December 8, 2020

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.


Closing the cloud HPC performance gap

As HPC has become increasingly essential to many research and industrial processes, cloud HPC has become increasingly prevalent and powerful. However, these authors from UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory write, “the question remains open whether cloud computing can provide HPC-competitive performance for a wide range of scientific applications.” Using hardware and software microbenchmarks and user applications, the authors conclude that high-end cloud HPC can deliver HPC-like performance “at least at modest scales.”

Authors: Giulia Guidi, Marquita Ellis, Aydın Buluc, Katherine Yelick and David Culler.

Introducing HPC to non-IT researchers

With the increasing ubiquity of HPC, it is becoming necessary to familiarize non-IT researchers with the operation of HPC technologies. These authors from Spain and Hungary assessed how a series of educational talks and hands-on training enabled non-IT researchers to start using HPC on a specific cluster, concluding that “academia and researchers would benefit from an environment that not only expects researchers to train themselves, but provides structural support for acquiring new skills.”

Authors: Bence Ferdinandy, Ángel Manuel Guerrero-Higueras, Éva Verderber, Francisco Javier Rodríguez-Lera and Ádám Miklósi.

Learning from the first petascale Arm supercomputer

The Arm-based Fugaku supercomputer now leads the Top500, but it was preceded by Astra, the Arm supercomputer that launched at Sandia National Laboratories in 2018. In this paper, a team of Sandia researchers explores the challenges encountered and lessons learned from the deployment and operation of the first petascale Arm supercomputer.

Authors: Kevin Pedretti, Andrew J. Younge, Simon D. Hammond, James H. Laros III, Matthew L. Curry, Michael J. Aguilar, Robert J. Hoekstra and Ron Brightwell.

Developing a new computational architecture for large-scale genomics

“Biomedical and biological research is increasingly shifting toward the collection and analysis of ever-larger datasets,” write these authors, a team from HP and the University of Bonn, stressing that diminishing returns from Moore’s Law are failing to keep up with the increasing needs of genomic analysis. In this paper, they introduce memory-driven computing (MDC), “a novel and alternative in silico architecture that overcomes many of the limitations posed by current approaches.”

Authors: Matthias Becker, Hartmut Schultze, Kirk Bresniker, Sharad Singhal, Thomas Ulas and Joachim L. Schultze.

Deploying a next-gen tape archive for classified computing at Lawrence Livermore

In 2019, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) found itself with “an expensive-to-maintain, aging and outmoded Oracle tape ecosystem,” writes Todd Heer, deployment team leader for the LLNL Data Storage Group. In this report, he outlines how LLNL replaced that tape system with a next-gen Spectra Logic tape system, resulting in “increased bandwidth, capacity, and facility flexibility; realized a reduced cost in overall dollars per GB, inclusive of service and maintenance fees; and resulted in a smaller physical footprint when compared with the previous tape drive infrastructure.”

Author: Todd Heer.

Optimizing a high-resolution ocean model on a million Sunway TaihuLight cores

Sunway TaihuLight is the fourth most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world. In this paper, written by a team from the Qilu University of Technology, the Shandong Computer Science Center and the Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Computer Networks, the authors describe how they scaled a high-resolution ocean model (POP2) to a million cores on the system, achieving over 5.5 simulated years per day, as compared to 1.4 simulated years per day on the unoptimized version.

Authors: Yunhui Zeng, Li Wang, Jie Zhang, Guanghui Zhu, Yuan Zhuang and Qiang Guo.

Using direct water cooling to reduce energy use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), a large HPC cluster named Cabernet was retrofitted with an Asetek-provided direct water cooling system. This paper, written by two LBNL researchers and one engineer from kW Engineering, describes the process and examines the results: 4 percent energy savings for the datacenter and 11 percent energy savings from Cabernet alone. The researchers also report that savings “on the order of 15-20 percent” would be possible if the chilled water system weren’t used for rejecting the heat from the Asetek system.

Authors: Shankar Earni, Steve Greenberg and Walker Johnson.


Do you know about research that should be included in next month’s list? If so, send us an email at oliver@taborcommunications.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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!

ISC21 Cluster Competition Bracketology

June 18, 2021

For the first time ever, cluster competition experts have gathered together for an actual seeding reveal for the ISC21 Student Cluster Competition. What’s this, you ask? It’s where bona fide student cluster competi Read more…

OSC Enables On-Demand HPC for Automotive Engineering Firm

June 18, 2021

In motorsports, vehicle designers are constantly looking for the tiniest sliver of time to shave off through some clever piece of engineering – but as the low-hanging fruit gets snatched up, those advances are getting Read more…

PNNL Researchers Unveil Tool to Accelerate CGRA Development

June 18, 2021

Moore’s law is in decline due to the physical limits of transistor chips, putting an expiration date on a hitherto-perennial exponential trend in computing power – and leaving hardware developers scrambling to contin Read more…

TU Wien Announces VSC-5, Austria’s Most Powerful Supercomputer

June 17, 2021

Austria is getting a new top supercomputer: VSC-5, the latest iteration of the Vienna Scientific Cluster. The news was announced by VSC-5’s soon-to-be home, TU Wien (also known as the Vienna University of Technology). Read more…

Supercomputing Helps Advance Hydrogen Energy Research

June 16, 2021

Hydrogen energy has long remained an elusive target of the renewable energy industry, promising clean, carbon-free energy that would allow for rapid refueling, unlike current battery-based electric vehicles. Hydrogen-bas Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Accelerating research and development for new medical treatments

Today, more than 290,000 researchers in France are working to provide better support and care for patients through modern medical treatment. To fulfill their mission, these researchers must be equipped with powerful tools. Read more…

FF4EuroHPC Initiative Highlights Results of First Open Call

June 16, 2021

EuroHPC is kicking into high gear, with seven of its first eight systems detailed – and one of them already operational. While the systems are, perhaps, the flashiest endeavor of the European Commission’s HPC effort, Read more…

ISC21 Cluster Competition Bracketology

June 18, 2021

For the first time ever, cluster competition experts have gathered together for an actual seeding reveal for the ISC21 Student Cluster Competition. What’s t Read more…

TU Wien Announces VSC-5, Austria’s Most Powerful Supercomputer

June 17, 2021

Austria is getting a new top supercomputer: VSC-5, the latest iteration of the Vienna Scientific Cluster. The news was announced by VSC-5’s soon-to-be home, T Read more…

Catching up with ISC 2021 Digital Program Chair Martin Schulz

June 16, 2021

Leibniz Research Centre (LRZ)’s content creator Susanne Vieser interviews ISC 2021 Digital Program Chair, Prof. Martin Schulz to gain an understanding of his ISC affiliation, which is outside his usual scope of work at the research center and the Technical University of Munich. Read more…

Intel Debuts ‘Infrastructure Processing Unit’ as Part of Broader XPU Strategy

June 15, 2021

To boost the performance of busy CPUs hosted by cloud service providers, Intel Corp. has launched a new line of Infrastructure Processing Units (IPUs) that take Read more…

ISC Keynote: Glimpse into Microsoft’s View of the Quantum Computing Landscape

June 15, 2021

Looking for a dose of reality and realistic optimism about quantum computing? Matthias Troyer, Microsoft distinguished scientist, plans to do just that in his ISC2021 keynote in two weeks – Quantum Computing: From Academic Research to Real-world Applications. He notes wryly that classical... Read more…

A Carbon Crisis Looms Over Supercomputing. How Do We Stop It?

June 11, 2021

Supercomputing is extraordinarily power-hungry, with many of the top systems measuring their peak demand in the megawatts due to powerful processors and their c Read more…

Honeywell Quantum and Cambridge Quantum Plan to Merge; More to Follow?

June 10, 2021

Earlier this week, Honeywell announced plans to merge its quantum computing business, Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS), which focuses on trapped ion hardware, Read more…

ISC21 Keynoter Xiaoxiang Zhu to Deliver a Bird’s-Eye View of a Changing World

June 10, 2021

ISC High Performance 2021 – once again virtual due to the ongoing pandemic – is swiftly approaching. In contrast to last year’s conference, which canceled Read more…

AMD Chipmaker TSMC to Use AMD Chips for Chipmaking

May 8, 2021

TSMC has tapped AMD to support its major manufacturing and R&D workloads. AMD will provide its Epyc Rome 7702P CPUs – with 64 cores operating at a base cl Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Iran Gains HPC Capabilities with Launch of ‘Simorgh’ Supercomputer

May 18, 2021

Iran is said to be developing domestic supercomputing technology to advance the processing of scientific, economic, political and military data, and to strengthen the nation’s position in the age of AI and big data. On Sunday, Iran unveiled the Simorgh supercomputer, which will deliver.... Read more…

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

Quantum Computer Start-up IonQ Plans IPO via SPAC

March 8, 2021

IonQ, a Maryland-based quantum computing start-up working with ion trap technology, plans to go public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger a Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

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…

AMD Launches Epyc ‘Milan’ with 19 SKUs for HPC, Enterprise and Hyperscale

March 15, 2021

At a virtual launch event held today (Monday), AMD revealed its third-generation Epyc “Milan” CPU lineup: a set of 19 SKUs -- including the flagship 64-core, 280-watt 7763 part --  aimed at HPC, enterprise and cloud workloads. Notably, the third-gen Epyc Milan chips achieve 19 percent... Read more…

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…

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and Read more…

GTC21: Nvidia Launches cuQuantum; Dips a Toe in Quantum Computing

April 13, 2021

Yesterday Nvidia officially dipped a toe into quantum computing with the launch of cuQuantum SDK, a development platform for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang emphasized in his keynote, Nvidia doesn’t plan to build... Read more…

Microsoft to Provide World’s Most Powerful Weather & Climate Supercomputer for UK’s Met Office

April 22, 2021

More than 14 months ago, the UK government announced plans to invest £1.2 billion ($1.56 billion) into weather and climate supercomputing, including procuremen Read more…

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

The History of Supercomputing vs. COVID-19

March 9, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a greater challenge to the high-performance computing community than any before. HPCwire's coverage of the supercomputing response t Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire