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IBM TrueNorth system for LLNL

IBM's 'neurosynaptic chip' to power nuke-watching exascale rig

IBM's TrueNorth platform will form the basis of a collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to chase the exascale dream. The “neurosynaptic chip” Big Blue – or perhaps, given its much-hyped “brain-inspired” design, we should say “Big Grey”? – will “process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 …

Join The Register at ISC 16

Promo Registration is open for ISC 16, Europe’s most important high performance computing conference. The Register will be there in Frankfurt, June 19-23 - along with some 3,000 delegates - our fifth year on the trot. For those who can’t be there we will cover the keynotes, some of the conference sessions, and arrange plenty of …
David Gordon, 23 Mar 2016

Hey kids – want to be an HPC bigshot? Don't have a secret exascale supercomputer?

HPC blog Do you want to secure a place in HPC (high performance computing) history? One route would be to single-handedly design and implement an exascale supercomputer, which most would categorize as "hard". However, an easier route is to participate in the various Student Cluster Competitions (SCCs) that take place around the world. …
CSIRO's Pearcey Supercomputer

Serious unboxing: 230 node research cluster down under

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has run up a 230-node cluster from Dell to support its data-intensive and computational modelling research activities. The core of the machine, dubbed "Pearcey", is a bunch of PowerEdge M630 blades with 128 GB RAM each, and four R930 PowerEdge …
Close up of elephant family, including cute calf. Photo by Shutterstock

Sparks fly as HPE and Hortonworks hold hands for data mould

Hadoop spinner Hortonworks is tweaking Spark for bulky workloads with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise as part of a "new strategic direction." The pair declared a breakthrough in raising Spark's ability to shuffle data across a cluster - Spark currently comes with shuffle utilities, but the companies claimed they'd managed “faster …
NICE Software's EnginFrame

NICE catch, Amazon: Bezos buys HPC toolkit from Italy

Amazon's sparking speculation a more ambitious high-performance computing (HPC) plan with the acquisition of Italian company NICE Software. NICE's product set includes a grid portal for HPC job submission, control and monitoring; and a remote 3D visualisation technology that connects users to data centre-hosted OpenGL and …
ExaNeSt Logo

Exascale project wants machine with TEN MEEELLION ARMS

Europe's ExaNeSt project is looking behind the couch for ten million ARM processors, to support its exascale supercomputing project. As well as a bucket of processing, what it's calling its “straw-man prototype” will use liquid cooling, Flash memory in the processor fabric, and will use “innovative, fast interconnects” to …
GPUOpen Logo

AMD emits fresh open-source GPU tools for HPC, game devs

AMD has fleshed out its notion of an openly defined GPU architecture, GPUOpen, with the launch of a bunch of open-source tools on GitHub plus a shiny new website. The move has been welcomed by the gaming press, but GPUOpen is not all about blasting people in 3D death matches – AMD also has the high performance computing (HPC) …
Atomic_explosion_cloud

France's CEA wires up 6 PB of disks ahead of HPC upgrades

France's Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), is bulking up its high-performance computing (HPC) storage and I/O, and has anointed Seagate as the lucky vendor. The rollout, in which Seagate elbowed out DataDirect Networks, started with six petabytes of hard drives attached to a ClusterStor L300, with 200GB …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Super-computers aren't super-secure

America's National Science Foundation is slinging US$5 million to help improve the security of scientific high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure. The money will be spent by the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure (CTSC), run by the universities of Illinois and Wisconsin-Madison, and the Pittsburgh …
NCAR rendering of a thunderstorm

5.34 petaflop SGI monster forecast at US National Center for Atmospheric Research

SGI and partner DataDirect Networks will spend 2016 beating a path to America's National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which named them to deliver its next system in 2017. The iron will replace its 1.5 petaflop Yellowstone with an Intel Xeon-based 5.34 petaflop thumper to improve NCAR's climate and weather modelling …
Knights Landing, the next generation of Intel's Many Integrated Core processor

Intel talks concurrency and Knights Landing

Interview The Intel Software Development Conference was on in London last week, and we took the opportunity to catch up with James Reinders, director and evangelist for parallel programming and HPC tools. Reinders is talking up Knights Landing, the next generation of Xeon Phi, Intel's MIC (many integrated core) processors, which are …
Tim Anderson, 16 Dec 2015
Sunset in Niger, a tree silhouetted against a sunset in the Sahara desert. Photo via Shutterstock

This is how you count all the trees on Earth

The Earth has three trillion trees and this is seven times more than was thought, until very recently, to exist. It is also half the number that existed before humanity went to work on the environment. We can deduce this through algorithms used to crunch reams of photographic data captured by satellite. But the headline figure …
Drew Cullen, 9 Dec 2015
Golden_gate

PaaS the SLAs: HPC is like one great big cloud ... right? Guys?

Comment Here I am on day 3 at the Supercomputing Summit.. I think I’ve been waiting for more than 15 or 20 years to re-live this kind of experience, which is very similar to what it was like going to conferences back in the 1990s. Some of the sessions are off the chart and the expo area is the nerdiest, geekiest thing I’ve seen in …
Cowboy_wranglers

Texas HPC cowboys win award for data-nomming flashy Wrangler

Texas Advanced Computing Centre has won an award for a new data-intensive system that incorporates the beta tested DSSD product from EMC. DSSD is EMC's rack-scale all flash array (AFA) which connects to accessing servers across an NVMe fabric to provide a large flash store effectively co-located with servers to reduce data …
Chris Mellor, 27 Nov 2015
Docker logo

Cray hoists Docker containers into supercomputers

SC15 Everyone loves Docker, including Cray, which today announced the addition of container-based virtualization to its official software stack. The supercomputer builder is rolling the technology first to Cray XC customers and in 2016 to Cray S400, CrayXE and Cray XK systems. The inclusion will aid wider productivity, chief …
Drew Cullen, 18 Nov 2015

Supercomputers get their own software stack – dev tools, libraries etc

SC15 Supercomputers are going to get their own common software stack, courtesy of a new group of elite computer users. The OpenHPC Collaborative Project was launched just before this week's Supercomputer Conference 2015 in Austin, Texas, and features among its members the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Center for Research in …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2015
Huaqianbei Road Shenzhen

Intel Xeon chip ban? Pfeh. China triples top 500 supercomputer tally

SC15 The number of Chinese supercomputers among the world's top 500 most powerful number-crunching machines has tripled to 109. The leap, measured between July and November this year, comes amid a ban on high-end Intel processors leaving the US for the Asian superpower's supercomputer builders. As a result of that export embargo, …
Chris Williams, 16 Nov 2015
Jureca supercomputer

JURECA! Germany flips big red switch on 2.2 petaflop supercomputer

Germany has officially powered up its new 2.2 petaflop JURECA supercomputer. Based at the Forschungszentrum Jülich research facility, the JURECA (pronounced "Eureka" and short for Juelich Research on Exascale Cluster Architectures) system runs on Intel's 12-core Xeon E5-2680 Haswell CPUs, employing a total of 1,900 nodes (each …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Nov 2015

IBM bets POWER8 processor farm on hardware acceleration

SC15 For 50 years, Moore’s Law held good. The axiom, formulated by Intel founder Gordon Moore in 1965, stated that overall processor power would double every year. In 1975 this was revised to every two years. But in July this year, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed in an earnings call that in the wake of the introduction of 14nm …
Drew Cullen, 16 Nov 2015

Next-gen killer hurricane hunter to be armed with Nvidia graphics chips

SC15 Uncle Sam's weather forecasters are going to use graphics processors to hopefully better predict the course of catastrophic storms. The US government's NOAA agency will build a new computer system boosted by 760 Nvidia Pascal GPUs, according to Ian Buck, the chip company's veep of accelerated computing and CUDA inventor. When …
Chris Williams, 16 Nov 2015

Here are the graphics processors cloud giants will use to crunch your voices, videos and data

If you think you can build the next Youtube, Facebook or Google, you'll need to invest heavily in artificial intelligence and GPU-accelerated engineering to get any kind of edge over rivals. And Nvidia just so happens to have some hardware for you, or so it says. The graphics chip giant has revealed a Tesla M40 GPU …
Chris Williams, 10 Nov 2015
Various_Scalpels

Teradata’s troubles cause the restructuring knives to slip out

Teradata revenues dropped again in its third quarter and the company has decided to get serious abut the situation and walk away from the marketing applications business. Revenues of $606m for the data and analytics company were nine per cent lower than a year ago and three per cent less than the previous quarter. There was a …
Chris Mellor, 9 Nov 2015

US nuke boffinry to be powered by Facebook-inspired Linux servers

Linux clusters built from Facebook's blueprints will help crunch numbers for the US government's hydrogen bomb scientists. The computer system, dubbed the Tundra Extreme Scale series, will cost $39m, and at its peak perform between seven and nine thousand trillion math calculations per second – that's seven to nine petaflops …
Chris Williams, 22 Oct 2015
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Lotus F1: 38°C? Sand in your Vblocks? Must be building a data center in Bahrain again

If you think your IT role is demanding, imagine needing to do a major install every couple of weeks. You only have a day to do it, you can't visit the site before, and it may be in incredibly hot, wet or dusty conditions. What you install has to deal with huge quantities of data and be 100 per cent reliable. Nine nines is not …
Simon Rockman, 20 Oct 2015

Hortonworks dismisses reports of Hadoop droop

Hadoop-pusher Hortonworks has dismissed reports by analyst house Gartner that the big data market is "yet to take off". Earlier this year Gartner reported that the market will remain sluggish for the next few years, with fewer businesses planning to begin Hadoop deployments in the next two years than the entire number of those …
Kat Hall, 9 Oct 2015
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HPC cluster-wrestling challenge: Come on students, light my PyFR

Reconfigure This! Here’s some more content from last summer’s blockbuster International Super computing Conference (ISC) 2015 student cluster competition, which has the youngsters battling to build a small cluster of their own design on the exhibit floor and race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a series of benchmarks and …
 CRAY-1 on display in the hallways of the EPFL in Lausanne.

The Steve Jobs of supercomputers: We remember Seymour Cray

Before Steve Jobs, there was Seymour Cray – father of the supercomputer and regarded as something close to a God in the circles he moved in. Jobs’ Apple Computer is reputed to have bought one of Seymour’s massive machines back in the day: a Cray, to design the brand-new Macintosh personal computer. This would have been a …
Gavin Clarke, 2 Oct 2015
Angle grinder image via Shutterstock

MemSQL makes it easier to hook up to Apache Spark

Apache Spark may be the fastest data processing engine around for big data, but unless you are conversant in Scala or Java, this cluster computing framework can be a pain to set up and manage. So here is some help from MemSQL, the in-memory database start-up: a way of letting organisations use Spark without writing code, the …
Drew Cullen, 24 Sep 2015
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Let’s hear it for data scientists! Making our lives more and more frictionless

There’s a lot of hype around data scientists. You can blame big data and the cloud. Data scientists are lauded, hunted and positively desired by those wanting to squeeze the most from their information. In accordance with such demand come large salaries – the average is $123,000 in the US. Like the Yanks of WWII, data …
Stuart Burns, 24 Sep 2015

Grounded: Can big data do for agri-business what it's not doing for retail?

Like fusion energy, big data has consistently promised amazing results – always at some indeterminate point in the future. We know grocers track every purchase, index them against our loyalty cards (translation: database index keys), and develop rich models of consumer behaviour that have, despite all of the millions of …
Mark Pesce, 24 Sep 2015
Hillary Clinton

More email misery and pillory for Hillary as FBI starts quizzery

The FBI has managed to recover "deleted" emails from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private server, which she used for official business while presiding over the State Department. Bloomberg has reported that a person "familiar with the investigation" has said the Feds have recovered "personal and work-related emails …
Supernova captured by XMM-Newton. Pic: Stefan Immler and Gulab Dewangan and ESA

Nine of the world’s fastest GPU supercomputers

When it comes to groundbreaking innovations in supercomputing over the last decade, there are few shifts that made bigger waves than the introduction of heterogeneous computing. Coupling high-performance host processors with a graphic-processing boost has helped several top-ranked supercomputers achieve performance and energy …
Team Register, 23 Sep 2015
D-Wave chip

D-Wave: 'Whether or not it's quantum, it's faster'

D-Wave is getting ready to drop a new benchmark on Arxiv, which the company says demonstrates its latest 1000-qubit processor outperforming classical machines. And it's bound to provoke the “other side” of the “is it quantum and is it faster?” debate, because the latest paper – the company has posted it here – describes “a …
Tianjin crater

China's Tianhe-1 supercomputer back online after Tianjin blast

The Tianhe-1 supercomputer in the Chinese city of Tianjin is back online. State organs China Youth Daily and People.com.cn are both reporting, with more than a little tinge of pride, that the supercomputer survived the blast thanks to the resilience of the data centre in which it was housed. The data centre is a couple of …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
Smoke and fire are seen after an explosion in the Binhai New Area in north China's Tianjin Municipality on Aug. 13, 2015. An explosion rocked the Binhai New Area in north China's Tianjin Municipality at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The cause and casualties are not immediately known. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei)

Huge explosion kills 44+ in China, blasts nearby supercomputer offline

Vid China is today trying to determine the cause of extensive explosions in the port city of Tianjin that have left at least 44 dead and hundreds injured. State news organ Xinhua reports that a warehouse operated by a company that specialises in dangerous goods, such as chemicals and explosives, blew up on Wednesday night. The …
Team Register, 13 Aug 2015

ISC ’15 Student Cluster Comp: Asian kids gear up to grab the crown

HPC blog Four teams from Asian universities entered the ISC’15 Student Cluster Competition arena in a bid to do glorious cluster combat and chisel their names into HPC history. Who are these brave students? Where do they come from? What do they want? Team India: Liquid cooled screamer The kids from Jamia Millia Islama brought some …
Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Internet, schminternet: Boffins propose private 100Gbps HYPERNET

A "hypernet" to be known as the Pacific Research Platform, shuffling data at up to 100Gb/s, will be established between US West Coast laboratories and several supercomputers thanks to a $5m grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant will span five years, reports the New York Times, and will connect the NSF's …
Cray Research Cray 2

Q2 wins drag Cray back into profit territory

Cray Computer's commanding footprint in the high-performance computing (HPC) market has pitched the venerable vendor back into profitability. In its Q2 2015 results announced Thursday, the company reported US$186.2 million in revenue and $5.8 million in profit, both well above what was reported for the same period in 2014, …

China bans HPC and UAV exports, citing national security

China has banned the unlicensed export of supercomputers and certain types of unmanned aerial vehicles. The bans, announced here and since shoved through internet translat-o-trons by El Reg, targets machines of eight petaflops or more with 2 Gbps of networking capacity. The June 2015 top 500 supercomputer list records only …
Back_of_the_NSCI_envelope

Obama endorses 3D TLC flash. How else can you do exaflop computing?

Comment New storage technologies are needed for exabyte-munching exaflop supercomputers. The same-old-same-old disk tech used for supercomputers won’t do for the exaflop generation promised by President Obama’s US leadership supercomputing order. This is Obama’s moonshot, the equivalent of President Kennedy’s man on the moon vision …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jul 2015

IARPA: Come, quantum computing boffins. We've got cash for you

Nay-sayers may nay-say, but America's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) reckons research into quantum computing is advanced enough to warrant a five-year program to kick things along. It's kicked off what it the Logical Qubits (LogiQ) program here, and it's looking to fund work building current science …