Features

Transistors Won’t Shrink Beyond 2021, Says Final ITRS Report

Jul 28, 2016 | The final International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) is now out. The highly-detailed multi-part report, collaboratively published by a group of international semiconductor experts, offers guidance on the technological challenges and opportunities for the semiconductor industry through 2030. One of the major takeaways is the insistence that Moore's law will continue for some time even though traditional transistor scaling (through smaller feature sizes) is expected to hit an economic wall in 2021. Read more…

“Stream”-lining the Scientific Process at XSEDE

Jul 28, 2016 | Indiana University and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced that Jetstream, the first-ever NSF-supported cloud resource for science and engineering research, will go into full operations as of September 1. But Jetstream is not your typical HPC supercomputer. “NSF, the IU Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI), and our many partners are embarking on a journey to operate a system that is both a production cloud and a first of a kind pilot project,” said IU's Craig Stewart. Read more…

New File System from PSC Tackles Image Processing on the Fly

Jul 25, 2016 |

Processing the high-volume datasets, particularly image data, generated by modern scientific instruments is a huge challenge. Last week, a team of researchers from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center reported a novel approach to coping with the data flood – the Virtual Volume File System (VVFS) – which they say significantly reduces storage capacity requirements and facilitates on-the-fly processing to minimize I/O traffic and latency limitations.

Although the researchers developed VVFS capabilities with a life sciences use case (electron microscopy datasets of mouse brains) in mind, they noted the challenge spans many domains such as astronomy, physics, materials science, geology, biology, and engineering. Read more…

Diversity Shines at XSEDE16 Conference

Jul 25, 2016 |

The first five years of the NSF-funded XSEDE project culminated in an exciting and enlightening week’s worth of technical talks and presentations about high-performance computing (HPC) services and resources. The conference where these were showcased also gave underrepresented groups an opportunity to be exposed to HPC and a plethora of experts in nearly every field of research.

The XSEDE16 Conference was held in Miami, July 17-21, at the Intercontinental Miami hotel. Read more…

DANCES with Big Data: Progress Update from XSEDE Meeting

Jul 22, 2016 |

Moving large datasets around HPC networks such as those of XSEDE is often challenging. While Internet2, the most commonly used backbone, is fast at 100GBS, local traffic to campuses often slows to 10GBS. At this week’s XSEDE meeting the DANCES (Developing Applications with Networking Capabilities via End-to-End SDN) project leaders reported first successful testing of hardware components needed as well as results of vendor bakeoff for switches. Read more…

Report Addresses the Perils of Dark Silicon

Jul 21, 2016 | Dark silicon refers to the processing potential that's lost when thermal constraints disallow full CPU utilization. The gap between transistor scaling and voltage scaling combined with tighter integration of components (multicore, SoCs) has power density ramifications that are of particular concern for embedded computing, but high-performance computing faces similar "dark power" challenges. Bringing attention to this issue and exploring common solutions was the goal of the Dagstuhl Seminar 16052, “Dark Silicon: From Embedded to HPC Systems.” Read more…

Lengau: Global Grand Challenges Through an African Lens

Jul 19, 2016 | South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Program Director Kagiso Chikane recently welcomed 100 guests to the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town for the dedication of the fastest computer on the African continent. “Lengau,” which means “Cheetah” in the African Setswana language, ranked 121 on the June TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Read more…

Briefing Alert: SoftBank will Purchase ARM Ltd for $32B

Jul 18, 2016 |

ARM Ltd has agreed to be bought by Japanese technology company SoftBank for $32B according to both companies. ARM-based chips are already dominant players in the mobile computing market and recently efforts to push ARM processors into servers, including HPC, have gained momentum. For example, Japan’s next flagship supercomputer, the post K Computer, will be ARM-based and built by Fujitsu.

Many details are still to come. Read more…

Alternative Supercomputing or How to Misuse a Computer

Jul 14, 2016 | In 2008, the IBM Roadrunner supercomputer broke the petaflops barrier using the power of the heterogeneous Sony Cell Broadband Engine (BE) processor. A year prior, the Cell BE had already made its way into the consumer market as the engine inside the SonyPlaystation 3. The PS3's accelerated design, Linux-capability and low price point... Read more…

Life in a Drop: Ohio Supercomputer Helps Prove Hydration’s Role in Protein Folding

Jul 14, 2016 | It’s perhaps fitting that in the middle of the summer, when water management is a common challenge, that a paper in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offers more proof that life as we know it can’t occur without water. Using Ohio Supercomputing Center resources, researchers have shown the critical role water plays in actively guiding protein folding and movement. “For a long time, scientists have been trying to figure out how water interacts with proteins... Read more…