The Weekly Top Five features the five biggest HPC stories of the week, condensed for your reading pleasure. This week, we cover Bull’s third petascale computing contract; IBM’s new POWER7 servers, the first hybrid spintronics computer chips, Bull and Whamcloud’s beefed-up Lustre support; and Tilera’s latest manycore development tools.
Watson’s decisive win over two of Jeopardy’s top champions on national television earlier this year could turn out to be the most effective infomercial in the history of IT. Capitalizing on that accomplishment, IBM is working hard to highlight the supercomputing technology at every opportunity, including this week’s rollout of new and improved Power7-based servers.
Next week the IBM supercomputer known as “Watson” will take on two of the most accomplished Jeopardy players of all time, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, in a three-game match starting on February 14. If Watson manages to best the humans, it will represent the most important advance in machine intelligence since IBM’s “Deep Blue” beat chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997. But this time around, the company also plans to make a business case for the technology. Trivial pursuit this is not.
Big Blue sees green in mainstream high performance computing market.
Supercomputer maker Cray had one of its best years in recent memory, but just missed posting a profit. This week the company told investors what went wrong and right for the company in 2009, and gave an outline of what’s on tap for 2010.
Company says new high-end servers will deliver “intelligent performance.”
Chipmakers converged on San Francisco this week to talk up their newest semiconductor products at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). Of particular interest to the HPC crowd are Intel’s Westmere EP and “Tukwila” Itanium 9300, and IBM’s POWER7.
Over the next ten years of HPC history, the mainstream teraflop systems of today will evolve into the petaflop systems of tomorrow, while the leading-edge petaflop supercomputers will be replaced by exaflop machines. As the most diverse player in the HPC server business, IBM has some unique advantages as it charts a path toward the exascale milestone.
Eight-core Power7 chip will be foundation of “Blue Water” super.
Big Blue unveils “Blue Waters” server node.