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Short Takes

XSEDE 2.0 Reorganizes into 5 Goal-Driven Areas

Aug 24, 2016 |

Earlier this week NSF recognized XSEDE’s positive impact on the science community with a new five-year charter and $110M in NSF funding. Founded in 2011, XSEDE provides advanced cyberinfrastructure resources and services to the nation’s scientist and engineers. The award assures continuity of services. John Towns, XSEDE’s executive director, briefly described future plans in an open letter posted on the XSEDE web site. Here’s an excerpt: Read more…

NERSC is Busily Using Dungeons to Slay Code Dragons

Aug 24, 2016 |

Work to modernize codes for use on the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) Cori supercomputer and its Intel Xeon Phi Knight’s Landing manycore architecture is making steady progress, says NERSC, which has now held eight Dungeon code development sessions with Intel and Cray. The most recent was held earlier this month. These Dungeon sessions, just as the name suggests, bring NERSC researchers together with vendor experts for intense code tweaking sessions. Read more…

Gazing into Computational Biology’s Crystal Ball

Aug 23, 2016 |

Sorting out computational biology’s future is tricky. It likely won’t be singular. First-principle, mechanistic simulation has so far proven challenging but could eventually become game changing. Meanwhile pattern recognition and matching in massive ‘omics’ datasets have been extremely productive and likely to remain dominant at present. Now, an MIT professor and colleagues write that two characteristics of biology datasets – low metric entropy and low fractal dimension – suggest compressive algorithms hold promise for the future. Read more…

Weekly Twitter Roundup

Aug 18, 2016 |

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. The tweets that caught our eye this past week are presented below. Check back in next Thursday for an entirely updated list.

Container Testing Reveals ‘Memory Pressure’ on Apps

Aug 18, 2016 |

With early adopters of application container technology completing early testing in multi-tenant settings, potential performance issues are beginning to surface. Among them, according to hyper-scaler LinkedIn, is a Linux kernel feature called “control groups” used with most containers to assign resources.

In an analysis based on several months of “pressure testing,” Zhenyun Zhuang, a software engineer at LinkedIn, notes that many container projects running on Docker or rival CoreOS platforms rely on “cgroups” Read more…

NOAA Upgrades River Flow Forecasting on New Crays

Aug 16, 2016 |

The flooding now occurring in Louisiana and Mississippi is a stark reminder of how disruptive and potentially dangerous floods can be. Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched a new simulation tool – the National Water Model (NMW) – running on NOAA’s new Cray XC40 supercomputers that greatly extends and enhances NOAA’s ability to forecast river flooding.

The new model uses data from more than 8,000 U.S. Read more…

Micron, Intel Prepare to Launch 3D XPoint Memory

Aug 16, 2016 |

Micron Technology Inc. used last week’s Flash Memory Summit to roll out its new line of 3D XPoint memory technology jointly developed with Intel Corp. while demonstrating the technology in solid-state drives.

Micron claimed its Quantx line delivers PCI Express (PCIe) SSD performance with read latencies at less than 10 microseconds and writes at less than 20 microseconds. That, the chipmaker asserted, is 10 times better than NAND flash-based SSDs. Read more…

DOE Invests $16M in Supercomputer-based Materials Design

Aug 16, 2016 |

Materials science got a boost today when the Department of Energy announced it would invest $16 million over the next four years to accelerate the design of new materials “through use of supercomputers.” The program will focus on software development with an eye towards being able to eventually run on exascale machines.

Two four-year projects – one team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the other team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) – will work to develop software to design fundamentally new functional materials for applications in alternative and renewable energy, electronics, and a wide range of other fields. Read more…

China to Launch ‘Quantum’ Satellite; Is U.S. Falling Behind?

Aug 15, 2016 |

Within the next few days China will launch a ‘quantum’ communications satellite heralding yet another major technology achievement for the world’s largest and most populous country, according to a report today in The Wall Street Journal. It’s part of China’s drive to build a hack-proof communications.

This is impressive show of science and technology strength follows China’s standing up of a 93-pataflops supercomputer in the spring (see HPCwire article, China Debuts 93-Petaflops ‘Sunway’ with Homegrown Processors) that now tops the Top500 List by a huge margin with a second even faster machine rumored to debut on the November 2016 list. Read more…

Weekly Twitter Roundup

Aug 11, 2016 |

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. The tweets that caught our eye this past week are presented below. Check back in next Thursday for an entirely updated list.