Additional performance increases for supercomputers are being confounded by three walls: the power wall, the memory wall and the datacenter wall (the “wall wall”). To overcome these hurdles, the market is currently looking to a combination of four strategies: parallel applications development, adding accelerators to standard commodity compute nodes, developing new purpose-built systems, and waiting for a technology breakthrough.
It’s been a little over a year since Nimbix announced the initial beta launch of its Nimbix Accelerated Compute Cloud (NACC). During the SC11 show in Seattle last week, HPC in the Cloud sat down with Nimbix Co-Founder and CEO Steve Hebert to find out where the company fits in with the small-but-growing stable of cloud providers who specialize in supporting HPC workloads.
Indiana-based MNB Technologies is a small company with big aspirations. The soon-to-be-public corporation is developing an expert-system based development suite designed to greatly simplify the programming of HPC accelerators, in particular FPGAs and GPU. To that end, the company recently announced the beta availability of its flagship product, hprcARCHITECT.
Acceleration technology is all the rage these days in high performance computing. With the emergence of GPGPUs into the mainstream, a whole new sub-industry has coalesced around acceleration solutions based on the latest GPUs. Maxeler Technologies, however, has made a nice living delivering FPGA acceleration to a rather elite customer base.
For the past several years, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have been getting large enough to compete with microprocessors in floating-point performance. Using the theoretical peak performance numbers, the FPGA’s floating-point performance is growing faster than microprocessors. This article calculates the peak performance for several FPGA devices from Xilinx and compares them to a reference microprocessor for equivalent time periods and shows that this gap in performance is growing.
In an HPC market that seems determined to go down the CPU-GPU path, upstart Convey Computer may yet offer a few surprises. The company today unveiled the sequel to its HC-1 platform it introduced in 2008. Called the HC-1ex, the new system adds a lot more performance and capability, but retains the original x86-FPGA co-processor design.
The civil engineer Konrad Zuse was born in Berlin exactly 100 years ago. In 1941, he built the world’s first computer. And thanks to his pioneering work, the scientists at the Jülich Supercomputing Center have now succeeded in setting a world record by simulating the largest quantum computer system with 42 qubits.
As high performance computing vendors polish their server and workstation portfolios with the latest multicore CPU and GPGPU wonders, Pico Computing is quietly making inroads into the HPC application space with its FPGA-based platforms. By picking the spots where reconfigurable computing makes the most sense, the company is looking to leverage its scalable FPGA technology to greatest effect.
Upgraded machine will sport 192 FPGAs and nearly a terabyte of memory.