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Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Sun's out, guns out: Plucky Philae probot WAKES UP ... hits 'snooze'

The Philae lander has woken from hibernation for the first time since its 60-hour, energy-draining mission on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last November, scientists at the European Space Agency confirmed today. Signals from the probe reached the ESA at its ops HQ in Darmstadt late last night. Philae, whose contact went …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jun 2015
Approximate locations of five lander candidates initially identified in high-resolution OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera images taken in Dec 2014. Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam

Boffins, feeling around in dark for Philae, lit up by bright spot on Comet 67/P

Vid The European Space Agency has determined a "good candidate" for the location of its Philae probot, which successfully landed on Comet 67/P in November last year. Since then, the location of the spacecraft's final resting place has remained a mystery for boffins working on the Rosetta mission. However, on Thursday the ESA said …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Jun 2015

Bad Baidu boffin boss banished for bypassing bot body's bylaws

A researcher from Baidu has been fired after an internal inquiry blamed him for getting the company to be disqualified from a standardised and independent Artificial Intelligence test. Baidu was disqualified from the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC), despite achieving the best score, after subverting …
Weather vane image via Shutterstock

A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues

Successful BBQ at the weekend, or did a cloudburst stop play, leaving your fridge groaning beneath a mountain of uncooked ribs and sausages? If only the weather forecast had been more reliable. By 2017 that might be possible, as the Met Office – responsible for generating more than 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings each …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2015

Solidfire joins the rush to Cisco-flavoured Open Stackery

Solidfire has joined the million other suppliers partnering with Cisco and its UCS servers with a converged OpenStack system reference architecture. Its AI for OpenStack – with AI standing for Agile Infrastructure and not Artificial Intelligence – joins another AI for OpenStack using Dell servers and networking and an AI …
Chris Mellor, 9 Jun 2015
HP CTO Martin Fink

Open source? HP Enterprise will be all-in, post split, says CTO

HP Discover What's the latest enterprise IT company to proclaim its love of open source? HP, that's who – or, more specifically, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of two companies that will emerge once HP splits this November. Speaking at the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas this week, CTO Martin Fink said open source will be central to …

Quiet, please – HP waves baton for 'composable' IT

HP Discover HP has a grand plan for when it morphs into Hewlett Packard Enterprise later this year, and the key to it is a concept it's calling "composable infrastructure." In his keynote at the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, HP CTO Martin Fink said that to understand composability, you should think about a composer …
HP's Martin Fink talks up the Machine

HP haters: Get ready to rage against THE MACHINE 'next year'

HP Discover HP is still hard at work at the futuristic computing platform it has dubbed the Machine, and staffers from HP Labs were on hand at the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas this week to give an update on its progress. There was even sample hardware on display, which HP Labs' Jaap Suermondt said was "evidence that we're actually …
Magnus at Pawsey

Western Australian government funds Pawsey supercomputing centre until 2021

Scientific HPC fans in Australia will be breathing a sigh of relief that the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has secured state government funding through to 2020-21. The Western Australian government has announced the AU$21.6 million allocation in its 2015-16 budget, which will help keep Pawsey's supers sufficiently super for …

Failure to launch: Hadoop will be 'anaemic' for years, says Gartner

Forget the hype and the vendors chinning each other – Hadoop is still not ready for take-off. That’s according to Gartner, whose latest short story in the Hadoop-is-not-ready saga has predicted “anaemic” adoption of Hadoop for at least the next two years. The biggest problem is that people allegedly still can’t use Hadoop, …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2015

Quarterly losses double at Hadoop hawker Hortonworks

Open source Hadoop purveyor Hortonworks doubled its quarter-on-quarter net losses in the first quarter of 2015 to a loss of $40m (£25m). Meanwhile, revenue rose 167 per cent to $22.8m (£14.5m). For its full-year, the company estimates a net loss of between $78m (£50m) and $84m (£54m). In its previous full-year results, it …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2015
Nvidia GeForce

Struggling Nvidia says it may pay up to $125m to shutter Icera modem biz

Nvidia posted mixed results for the first quarter of its fiscal 2016, even as it looks forward to exiting the mobile chip business in favor of new markets. Total revenue for the quarter was $1.15bn, which narrowly missed analysts' estimates. It also represented disappointing year-on-year growth of just 4.4 per cent, compared …

Cash-happy Quantum is poised to enter the HPC market

Quantum's confirmed fourth quarter and full fiscal 2015 results were better than the prelim numbers, with full year net income the highest in more than five years, and it's aiming to move into high-performance computing storage. Q4 revenues were $147.8m (the preliminary figure was $145m) with net income of $12.9m (prelim: $12m …
Chris Mellor, 7 May 2015
Galaxy NGC 2623 captured by the Hubble Space Telescope

Building the world's biggest telescope array - with machines that don't yet exist

Once completed, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the biggest radio astronomy telescope in the world. "Biggest", though, really is too mild a term for the sheer size of this project. The first phase, SKA1, will be broken up into two instruments, SKA1 MID and SKA1 LOW, based on their frequencies. SKA1 MID alone is made up …
NASA's SGI rackable SCUs

NASA on track to triple Discover super's grunt

The rolling upgrade at NASA's Centre for Climate Simulation (NCCS) is nearing completion, with the agency just about ready to flick the switch on the second of three new SGI systems. The upgrade project, which was won by SGI (canned announcement) in November 2014, will when it's complete replace the former IBM machine – with 35, …

Quantum CPU upstart D-Wave drills into physics simulations to boost vital magnetic shielding

Physics upstart D-Wave has shed some light on its work simulating quantum computer processors to improve their performance and capabilities. Canada-based D-Wave builds chips made up of 512 superconducting semiconductor circuits called qubits, which are run at ultra-high frequencies in absolute-zero temperatures with minimal …
Team Register, 1 May 2015

Do you have the intellectual bandwidth to attend ISC 2015?

Promo Have you always thought HPC was just for the guys in the white coats? Well this year’s ISC High Performance conference should definitively change your mind, with five days that will cover how what’s been happening in the labs is going to affect what’s going to happen in your business. Just to make it really easy for you, we’ve …
Team Register, 1 May 2015

NetApp’s Raijin deal was driven by simple value for money

Comment NetApp is supplying Data ONTAP storage for use on an Aussie supercomputer (Raijin), which already uses DDN storage, and we wondered about the whys and wherefores of adding three new hardware platforms and two new operating systems. ”The DDN storage in Raijin is used for fast scratch space, and our global data file system (gdata …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
WD floods 1

Teradata bulks up its universe, joins data warehouse to data lake

Teradata is widening the use of its data warehouse and analytics by orchestrating access to more data silos and logically combining them, joining data lakes to data warehouses, so to speak. Teradata_Unified_Data_Architecture This is all part of Teradata's Unified Data Architecture push Teradata is the leading data warehouse …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2015

Seagate rides on Cray's tails as supercomputer sales spike

Seagate supercomputer storage sales are rising, as Cray has won four supercomputer deals where the Sonexion 2000 storage is actually OEM'd ClusterStor arrays from Seagate's acquired Xyratex business. Seagate's overall business results may be lacking some lustre, but the Lustre-using ClusterStor side of its business is shining …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015

ARM wrestles analysts' guesses to floor after slurping IP Kool-Aid

The first three months of 2015 have been good to ARM, which saw revenues of $348.2m and pre-tax profits of $120.5m in the first quarter, with 3.8 billion ARM-based chips shipped - or more than 450 chips per second. That’s an increase of 14 per cent on revenue and 24 per cent on profit – well ahead of what analysts predicted, …
Simon Rockman, 21 Apr 2015
Raijin supercomputer

NetApp nails 11PB Oz supercomputer storage deal

NetApp is supplying ONTAP FAS, E-Series and EF-Series arrays to boost data capacity and access for Australia's NCI Raijin supercomputer. NCI is Australia's National Computing Infrastructure organisation and the Raijin system "is a Fujitsu Primergy high-performance, distributed-memory cluster." It comprises: 57,472 cores (Intel …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2015
SpaceX Dragon docking

One small shot for Man, one espresso maker IN SPAAACE: Dragon snatched by ISS

+Vid SpaceX has completed its sixth supply run to the International Space Station: the Dragon capsule, loaded up with cargo and launched on Tuesday, has finally arrived at the orbiting science lab. The space station's Canadian-built robot arm captured the capsule at 0655 ET (1155 UTC) after SpaceX engineers guided it in a slow but …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2015
USS independence then and now


The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it has found the final resting place of the USS Independence, a World War Two aircraft carrier. The Independence (CVL-22) was commissioned as cruiser, but adapted to become a light carrier as the demands of the Pacific war made mobile air power …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015

Nuclear fusion simulator among boffinry tools picked for monster Summit supercomputer

In November, the US government announced it will build Summit, a $325m supercomputer capable of performing 300 quadrillion calculations per second if you redline it. When installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2017 and powered up by 2018, it will be the fastest computer in the world compared to its publicly known …
Chris Williams, 15 Apr 2015
Quantum Dot demo

Incomprehensible boffins bring quantum computers a step closer

The long-awaited arrival of quantum computers could be one step closer, as boffins from Oz have for the first time encoded quantum information in silicon. Unlike conventional computers, which store data on transistors and hard drives, quantum computers encode data in states of microscopic objects called qubits. The arrival of …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
Xeon E7 die

US govt bans Intel from selling chips to China's supercomputer boffins

The US government has blocked Intel from shipping high-end Xeon processors to China's supercomputer builders – and other American chip giants are banned, too. Intel confirmed to The Register last night it was refused permission to sell the chips to the Middle Kingdom's defense labs and other parts of its supercomputing industry …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2015

Intel, Cray bag $200m to build 180PFLOPS super for US nuke boffins

Intel and Cray have landed a $200m deal to build a 180-petaFLOPS supercomputer dubbed Aurora for the US Department of Energy. Intel will provide the chips – expected to include next-gen 10nm Knights Hill processor cores – and Cray will integrate it all together. If you look at the numbers, that's a rather small amount of money …
Dark Souls II knighty knight

Chipzilla spawns 60-core, six-teraflop Xeon Phi MONSTER CHIP

Intel has set some rumours to rest, giving a media and analyst briefing outlining details of its coming 60-plus core Knights Landing Xeon Phi chip. Opening the bag to let the cat see a little bit of light, Intel has told journalists at a briefing at its Hillsboro, Oregon fab that the “honking big die” for the Knights Landing Phi …
Mike Stonebraker

Big Data high priest Stonebraker anointed with Turing Award

Michael Stonebraker of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has won the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Turing Award. As a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, Stonebraker helped develop the Ingres and Postgres relational databases. He has …
2001: A Space Odyssey

TOP500 Supers make boffins more prolific

A comparative analysis of supercomputer ownership by US universities seems to suggest that TOP500-class iron gives institutions a quantifiable edge in physics, chemistry, civil engineering and evolutionary biology. In the kind of rational decision-making that will upset HPC sales teams, the Clemson University research is …
Exterior shot of At-Bristol Planetarium

That's a big 4Ker of a cosmos: 3D planetarium to open in Bristol

Junior star-gazers in Bristol have been given notice that they will have to share the city’s soon-to-be-3D planetarium with data scientists and marketeers as the city burnishes its tech hub credentials. Exterior shot of At-Bristol Planetarium Just a few gallons of Windolene and we'll be up and running The planetarium at the …
Joe Fay, 24 Mar 2015

AI guru Ng: Fearing a rise of killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation on Mars

GTC 2015 Artificial intelligence boffin Andrew Ng told engineers today that worrying about the rise of evil killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation and pollution on Mars before we've even set foot on it. Ng – chief scientist at Chinese web search giant Baidu and an associate professor at Stanford University – said fretting …
Chris Williams, 19 Mar 2015

Oxford boffins publish fine-scale regional genetic map of UK

An international team of researchers have created a fine-scale genetic map of the UK, the first time such a map has been produced for any country in the world. The fine-scale genetic variation between human populations is of interest to researchers both as a means of tracking historical population movements, and for its ability …

Nvidia tears wraps off GeForce Titan X (again) and $10,000 GPU brain for DIY self-driving cars

GTC 2015 Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed the arrival of the GeForce Titan X just a few minutes ago today, dubbing it Nvi's fastest single-chip GPU to date. He also showed off two development kits: a $15,000 deep-learning system, and a $10,000 DIY self-driving car brain. The US chip maker's boss was speaking at this year's GPU …
Chris Williams, 17 Mar 2015

Infiniband Association adds control freakery to Volume 1 spec

The InifiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) hopes to ward off the risk of an Ethernet invasion in the ranks of HPC users with a renewed focus on manageability and visibility. Such features have just appeared in release 1.3 of the Volume 1 standard. The IBTA's Bill Lee told The Register that as HPC clusters grow, “you want to be …
Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales

Wikimedia chucks sueball at NSA and DOJ over mass surveillance

Jimmy Wales' Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, has announced its intention to file a lawsuit against the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) challenging dragnet spying programs such as PRISM. In a press release the foundation stated its "aim in filing this suit is to end this mass …
Array of multicoloured LEDs reminiscent of the matrix

Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

I am a heretic. There, I've said it. My heresy? I don't believe that quantum computers can ever work. I've been a cryptographer for over 20 years and for all that time we've been told that sooner or later someone would build a quantum computer that would factor large numbers easily, making our current systems useless. However, …
Ross Anderson, 9 Mar 2015
Prototype Vulkan debugger from Valve and LunarG

Here comes Vulkan: The next generation of the OpenGL graphics API

GDC 2015 The Khronos Group, non-profit custodian of the OpenGL cross-platform graphics API, has announced its replacement, called Vulkan. Vulkan, previously known as glNext, is being presented in detail at The Game Developers Conference (GDC) currently under way in San Francisco. Khronos has also announced OpenCL 2.1, an updated version …
Tim Anderson, 3 Mar 2015
Ebola virus virion

How a HPC array helps humanity destroy the Ebola virus

Comment Deadly diseases like Ebola are frightening. They kill people in horrible ways and destroy the host communities’ ability to fight the spread of the virus. Agencies fighting the outbreak have had to understand where the outbreak is spreading, where communities in its path are most vulnerable and where to focus their treatment and …
Chris Mellor, 3 Mar 2015

US Army plots new petascale monster and 'tactical cloudlets'

The US Army Research Labs (ARL) has put forward a plan to outrun China in the supercomputer stakes, develop quantum computing, and create The Terminator.* In spite – or perhaps because – of a likely budget squeeze, the ARL says it needs to “harness the potential of computational sciences and emerging high-performance computers ( …

Lugging an HPC cluster to the plane as carry-on luggage? DON'T

HPC Blog In our most recent article, we took a look at the US-based SC14 Student Cluster Competition university teams who are intent on keeping the SC crown firmly in the good ol' US of A. As usual, the SC competition attracted a wide variety of student teams from around the world. At SC14, we interviewed almost all of them to give you …