HPC > More stories

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 …

Pimp my cluster: GPUs, liquid nitrogen and AAAAAH! ..that new compiler smell

HPC Blog In this article, we're going to take a closer look at the teams that competed in the historic SC14 Student Cluster Competition. As usual, it's a wide mix of returning champions, veteran teams pushing to join the elite, and completely new teams who are trying to figure out what they hell they're doing. (For some background, click …
Fruit and vegetables on display on the shelves of a supermarket

Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

As the Christmas trading figures emerged from the big-name supermarkets last month, the outcome of their price war was laid bare. Consumers benefited from falling food prices while limited-range discounters Aldi and Lidl enjoyed their fastest growth ever. However, this war has not been without its casualties. Morrisons …

Extra detailed Big Iron coverage, LIVE TODAY at The Platform

The Platform is a new publication which goes live today in partnership with The Register. It will offer in-depth coverage of high-end computing at large enterprises, supercomputing centers, hyperscale data centers, and public clouds. Some companies are building their own platforms for internal use, while others are building …
Team Register, 3 Feb 2015
spiders crawl through tunnel of binary numbers

STUDENT RACK WARS: Science and HPC – all the kids are doing it these days

HPC blog It’s well past the time to discuss and analyse what happened at the exciting seventh annual Student Cluster Competition, which took place at SC14 in New Orleans late last year. Just after SC14 closed, I took a long trip to South Africa to cover its CHPC cluster competition – the intra-country bout that has spawned its ISC’13 and …
Mississippi River Lock and Dam number 7 with the I-90 Mississippi River bridge downstream. Image: Public Domain

Cluster-grappling kids clash: Battle of the Big Iron in the Big Easy

HPC Blog Two hundred years after the first Battle of New Orleans*, we saw the third, and perhaps most important, tussle the city has ever seen. I am, of course, referring to the SC14 Student Cluster Competition (here's a quick guide on how the youngsters' HPC battles work). This is the seventh time that university students have battled …
IBM's new mainframe

MAINFRAMES are SO NOT DEAD: IBM's launched a new one

At least twenty years after pundits first pronounced the death of the mainframe, IBM has released a new one. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the market, but IBM will be hoping that the billion dollars it's poured into developing the new z13 mainframe will get the big end of town as excited as Big Blue itself is. …

Mellanox to upgrade Monash University's HPC fabric

The Monash University R@CMon high-performance CloudX OpenStack computing cloud is to get a back-end upgrade thanks to Mellanox. R@CMon is a 2,300-plus core machine, one of the eight nodes that forms Australia's National e-Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) research cloud, with preconfigured IaaS configurations of …
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Cray, IBM to boost NOAA's super powers

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched the next phase of an upgrade process which it says will increase the power of its supercomputing systems tenfold. The upgrade, to be carried out by IBM and Cray, is due for delivery by October, and when it's completed the administration's two hunks of …
Shot of a lady with a "Nice Rack" t-shirt

Revealed: This year's STUDENT RACK WARS winner

HPC blog While I had posted detailed results of the ISC’14 Summer Cluster Slam (here and here), I just realized that I had neglected to put out the final standings and analysis. This makes me an idiot. (Well, not only this, there are a lot of other things that contribute to that assessment as well.) First the big surprise: Team South …
Lake Tahoe

HPC storage bods at DDN fish for BIG CATCH in the data lake

Interview Suppliers of storage and analytics systems to the so-called "big data" lake market are enduring turbulent technology transitions and fast-changing requirements, as we saw here. Startups with $100m-plus funding are common and one, Cloudera, has surpassed $1bn in funding, as VCs and startup execs scramble to find their way through …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2014

Japanese monster manifests new PETAFLOP POWER

Japan's ATERUI supercomputer has had its capacity doubled, leading the National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) of Japan to claim that it's currently word's the most power astronomical HPC facility. At Japan's Centre for Computational Astrophysics, ATERIU was already a top-100 machine, but the NAO says the CPU-replacement took it …
cloud

NSF goes cloudy with US$16 million super funding

The fatter-than-fat connections provided by America's ESNet to its research community are about to enable a more cloudy supercomputing approach for researchers, with the National Science Foundation has setting aside US$16 million to build new facilities in Indiana and Texas. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF) …
Galaxy simulation

Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data

The Illustris Project, a universe-scale simulation created in 2013 at MIT and unveiled in May 2014, is now offering its first data products as downloads for researchers. The large-scale cosmological simulation of galaxy formation, as it describes itself, has half a petabyte containing 12 billion resolution points and in a full …
iVEC's Magnus supercomputer

IVEC's Magnus crashes Top 50

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is all smiles after the SC14 announcement that its upgraded Magnus iron has landed in the world's top fifty supercomputers. The 35,712-core Haswell-based Cray XC40 cracked 1,097 teraflops on the Linpack benchmark, which put it at position 41 on the list. At the end of September, the machine's …
ClusterStor 1500

Seagate and SGI buddy up to flog HPC bigness to big business

Seagate has signed up SGI to resell its ClusterStor supercomputing and big data arrays. SGI will now resell the ClusterStor 1500, 6000, and 9000 products and the Secure Data Appliance (SDA) with its Kerberos network authentication protocol to enable symmetric-key cryptography. SGI competitor Cray OEMs ClusterStor arrays in its …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
Xeon E7 die

HPC bods boogie to 68 new Top500 hits at New Orleans show

SC14 The SC14 supercomputer show at New Orleans saw Intel getting its Xeon, Phi and Lustre hooks into many suppliers, IBM pushing its POWER credentials and ARM punching in there too. There was nothing dramatic, exascale computing not yet having been reached, but a lot of incremental improvements. The November 2014 Top500 list has 68 …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
ETERNUS_CD10000

Multi-petabyte open sorcery: Spell-binding storage

Mixing petabytes of data and open-source storage used to be the realm of cash-strapped academic boffins who didn’t mind mucking in with software wizardry. The need to analyse millions, billions even, of records of business events stored as unstructured information in multi-petabyte class arrays makes ordinary storage seem like …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
NASA Nature Run screen grab

NASA launches new climate model at SC14

After 75 days running on the 43,000-core, 1.21 petaflop Discover supercomputer cluster at the Goddard Centre for Climate Simulation, producing 4 PB of data, NASA has put together a global model showing how atmospheric carbon dioxide – CO2 – gets distributed in air currents around the world. Youtube Video The model is based on …
Nvidia

Nvidia doubles Tesla grunt at SC14

Nvidia's SC14 eye-catcher is the next increment in its HPC GPU accelerator, the Tesla K80. The successor to the Tesla K40, the K80 is pitched as double-your-everything: twice the performance and twice the memory bandwidth. Unsurprisingly, the company reckons its target will be data analytics and scientific computing applications …

The optic NERVE of it: Intel declares WAR on InfiniBand

It's no surprise when Intel announces a new processor architecture – that's its main game, after all. However, along with the Knight's Bridge chips released at SC'14, the company seems to have declared war on the HPC mainstream, announcing an optical comms architecture designed to compete with InfiniBand. The Omni-Path …
USGI UV 2000

HPC bod SGI racks UV brains, reaches 30 MEEELLION IOPS

How does 30 million IOPS from a 32-socket server grab you? We've learnt SGI has taken its UV 300H server, used in its "UV for SAP HANA" product, and boosted its performance with 64 Intel DC P3700 SSDs, which use the NVMe interface. The team working on this includes SGI's acquired Starboard Storage engineers. Starboard was …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2014
Cray Sonexion

Cray heaves out even mightier, Lustre-ous Sonexion 2000

Cray has updated its scale-out, parallel access, Lustre-using Sonexion array with what it calls the "2000" product - providing 50 per cent more capacity and performance than the previous 1600 product in the same footprint. The 2000 delivers in excess of 45GB/sec bandwidth to a Linux cluster using Cray Cluster Connect, and has …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2014

SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION

HPC Blog As I walked past one of the booths on the GTC’14 trade show floor, I suddenly had the nagging feeling that I had missed something. I couldn't figure out why, but this particular booth was familiar. On closer examination, I still didn’t see anything to explain my feeling. I didn’t know either of the guys manning the booth, and …

Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of Patent WAR! Samsung strikes back at Nvidia

Samsung Electronics has counter-sued graphics processing units (GPU) manufacturer Nvidia for alleged infringement of its chip-related patents. Nvidia filed a patent lawsuit against Sammy and semiconductor and wireless tech giant Qualcomm in September, alleging the companies used its patented GPU technology without proper …
Kat Hall, 12 Nov 2014
Image of HAL eye from 2001 movie with Chrome logo in eye

729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build

Cycle Computing has helped hard drive giant Western Digital shove a month's worth of simulations into eight hours on Amazon cores. The simulation workload was non-trivial: to check out new hard drive head designs, the company runs a million simulations, each of which involved a sweep of 22 head design parameters on three types …
cubicle_farm_computers_channel

Converge THIS: Network titan Cisco on how to VDI in 10 days

HPC Blog Thinking about virtualising your desktops? Want to run all those sessions in your data centre and simply broadcast the screen and UI out to whatever device your users desire? There are a lot of vendors out there who are looking to ease your shift into VDI (virtualized desktop infrastructure), helping to figure out how much …
resellers_computers_desktops_workstations

HPC ace grills vendor over virtual desktop flavours: What about the POWER USERS?

HPC blog The idea that you can run a bunch of user desktop sessions on servers isn’t new. The benefits promised by desktop virtualisation are pretty profound, including large reductions in enterprise tech costs, better support for users, improved security and even increased user happiness. That last promise, the increased user happiness …

Pimp my HPC cluster: Luscious cores, GPU gravy, optimised apps...

HPC blog You’ve pimped out your fancy new HPC cluster with the latest technology, each node jammed to the gills with shiny new CPUs, loads of memory, and maybe even a double brace of GPUs or other accelerators. The installation work is done, and users are getting their first shot at the system. The performance boost on the new box is so …
ETERNUS_CD10000

Fujitsu waves 50PB+ MONSTER at hyperscale storage freaks

Fujitsu has got itself a 50PB-plus scale-out array for very big data, the CD10000. Properly named the ETERNUS CD10000 Hyperscale Storage System, the box uses Ceph, open source software that presents file, block and object storage from a distributed cluster of object storage nodes across which data is striped. Theoretically, Ceph …
Chris Mellor, 5 Nov 2014