Features

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…

RISC-V Startup Aims to Democratize Custom Silicon

Jul 13, 2016 | Momentum for open source hardware made a significant advance this week with the launch of startup SiFive and its open source chip platforms based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture. The founders of the fabless semiconductor company — Krste Asanovic, Andrew Waterman, and Yunsup Lee — invented the free and open RISC-V ISA at the University of California, Berkeley, six years ago. The progression of RISC-V and the launch of SiFive opens the door to a new way of chip building that skirts prohibitive licensing costs and lowers the barrier to entry... Read more…

A Celebration of Women in HPC

Jul 7, 2016 | Why are there not more women in HPC? This was the simple question that led to the formation of the Women in HPC (WHPC) network nearly three years ago. Under the direction of founder Dr. Toni Collis of the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), the organization has been gaining momentum and making a name for itself since its inaugural Women in HPC workshop at SC14. At ISC 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany, WHPC expanded its program to three events: its fourth international Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) workshop; a BOF on women in HPC; and a networking luncheon. The BOF (June 21) and the workshop (June 23) shared the theme of addressing the gender gap in HPC. Women in HPC has found that women make up between 5 and 17 percent of HPC users, researchers and conference attendees. Read more…

PNNL’s CENATE Quickly Winning Industry Support and Collaboration

Jul 6, 2016 | Getting to the root of how things work has informed and progressed all aspects of scientific discovery. As computers and applications grow in complexity, seemingly poised to enter a new phase beyond the limits of Moore’s Law and CMOS technology, enlightening how they work best is paramount. With new resources from a growing list of industry partners, the Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation – known as CENATE – a computing proving ground at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, is rapidly expanding its capabilities to assist the high-performance computing community. Read more…

Trinity Wrestles with Knights Landing Programming Challenge with COE

Jul 5, 2016 | Seventy-one years ago, on July 16, 1945, an incredible explosion lit up the New Mexico night sky. This was the Trinity Test, the world’s first nuclear detonation, and it marked the beginning of the Nuclear Age. It also ushered in the age of supercomputers, which essentially began with weapons science at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Now a new Trinity, a next generation Cray XC supercomputer is about to take center stage to help the national security labs achieve their primary mission – to provide the nation with a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. Read more…

Genomic Sequencing at Children’s Mercy: Saving Time to Save Lives

Jul 1, 2016 | Genomic sequencing – that is, rapid sequencing – is instrumental to diagnosing and treating critically ill patients, and managing the high data volumes involved in genomics is essential to the process. Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, (354 beds, not-for-profit, treating children from birth through the age of 21) operates what it says is the world’s first whole genome sequencing center in a pediatric setting, where physicians, clinical laboratory scientists, molecular geneticists, bioinformaticians and software engineers work to sequence and analyze rare inherited diseases. Read more…