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Plump Dell lays its table for the upcoming HPC Stampede

Michael Dell is getting out the good china as his firm prepares to dine on a slice of the world's supercomputer market. Dell’s PC and server shop has rolled out a series of High Performance Computer Systems targeting applications in life sciences, manufacturing and research. They are: the HPC System for Life Sciences, …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2016
china_future_648

Supercomputers in 2030: Lots of exaflops and LOTS of DRAM

Supercomputers will overcome the predicted crumbling of Moore’s Law over the next few years to show massive leaps in performance between now and 2030 – but will still look pretty familiar to today’s compute power junkies. In a series of sessions at ISC this morning covering exascale architectures, speakers predicted a rapid …
Joe Fay, 21 Jun 2016

Intel's Knights Landing: Fresh x86 Xeon Phi lineup for HPC and AI

The long wait for volume shipments of Intel’s “Knights Landing” parallel x86 processors is over. At the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the company is unveiling the official lineup of its Xeon Phi chips, which are aimed at high performance computing and machine learning workloads alike. The …
Intel HPC Orchestrator screenshot

Intel-supported Open HPC stack to land in Q4

Along with its Knights Landing chips landing, Intel has unveiled its first implementation of the Open HPC environment. The Intel HPC Orchestrator is a validated software stack designed to give big iron admins the kind of out-of-the-box support more familiar to the enterprise server customer. It wraps up the Open HPC software …

Fujitsu picks 64-bit ARM for Japan's monster 1,000-PFLOPS super

ISC Fujitsu has signaled it will use 64-bit ARMv8 cores in the whopping exascale supercomputer it's building for Japan's boffins. Back in 2014, the Japanese IT giant was hired by the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science to construct the Flagship 2020 machine – dubbed the Post-K super because it will succeed Japan's K …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016
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Start massaging your wallet: DDN buffs up EXAScaler Lustre HPC storage rig

ISC DataDirect Networks' ES14K is claimed to be four times faster than other suppliers' laggardly Lustre kit. The ExaScaler ES14K comes in all-flash and hybrid flash/disk configurations and features: Embedded Intel Enterprise Edition Lustre parallel file system v2.7 Up to 500GB/sec throughput Internal PCIe gen 3 fabric …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2016
Sunway TaihuLight that was built for the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. Pic courtesy of The Next Platform

Home-cooked tech helps China topple US as top supercomputer user

ISC For the first time since the Top 500 rankings of the most powerful supercomputers in the world was started 23 years ago, the United States is not home to the largest number of machines on the list – and China, after decades of intense investment and engineering, is. Supercomputing is not just an academic or government …

All aboard the PCIe bus for Nvidia's Tesla P100 supercomputer grunt

ISC Nvidia has popped its Tesla P100 accelerator chip onto PCIe cards for bog-standard server nodes tasked with artificial intelligence and supercomputer-grade workloads. The P100 was unveiled in April at Nvidia's GPU Tech Conference in California: it's a 16nm FinFET graphics processor with 15 billion transistors on a 600mm2 die. …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016
Iron Giant

Open MPI gets closer to exascale-ready code

Big iron sysadmins: there's a significant upgrade to OpenMPI in the works. Late last week, OpenMPI released v2.0.0rc3, which brings a full Version 2 of the message passing interface closer to fruition. Open MPI is an open source implementation of the MPI Forum's message passing standards. It covers a variety of 32-bit and 64- …
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Forget your stupid campus party. I'm going to Frankfurt to do some HPC

HPC Blog The world's attention will be focused on Frankfurt, Germany next week for the kick-off of the fifth annual ISC'16 Student Cluster Competition. Twelve teams of university undergraduates will travel from far and wide to prove their HPC and clustering prowess in a competition that will demand everything they have – and more. …
Dan Olds, 16 Jun 2016
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

It's not us, it's you: Boffins ditch supercomputers in lust for new materials

Physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have created a quantum simulator designed to model complex quantum mechanics phenomena that even the fastest supercomputer could not compute. The researchers created the simulator by trapping up to 219 beryllium ions inside a Penning trap in a bid to study …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Jun 2016

'MongoDB ate my containers!'

Line Break Welcome back to The Register's weekly software bug parade, Line Break: Season Two. After a hiatus, and a vacation here or there, Line Break has been recommissioned. You can catch up on previous episodes, here. The idea is simple: if you spot buggy code in the wild that's driven you bonkers or to hysterics, drop us a line with …
Chris Williams, 08 Jun 2016
Intel's "Knights Landing" processor

From iWarp to Knight's Landing: James Reinders leaves Intel

Intel's HPC director and evangelist James Reinders is leaving Intel after 27 years - or as he puts it, 10,001 days - accepting the firm's offer of early retirement for long-standing employees. Reinders describes how he joined Intel in 1989 to work on a VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) processor called iWarp, designed to be …
Tim Anderson, 07 Jun 2016
Green data centre

Hadoop rigs are really supercomputers waiting for the right discipline

IBM reckons the rigs assembled to run the likes of Hadoop and Apache Spark are really just supercomputers in disguise, so has tweaked some of its supercomputer management code to handle applications that sprawl across x86 fleets. As explained to The Register by IBM's veep for software-defined infrastructure Bernie Sprang, apps …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2016
Honey bee on flower

BeeGFS stayin' alive with Intel OPA tie-up

The HPC-focussed parallel cluster file system, BeeGFS, has received certification to run over Intel's OmniPath Architecture (OFA). The cert, plus a collaboration with Intel's OPA team, is a step forward for BeeGFS, which was spun out of Fraunhofer in 2014 and made the responsibility of ThinkParQ. BeeGFS runs on Linux distros …
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Urika-ka-ka-ka! Cray unveils open source big data box

Supercomputer shop Cray is branching into analytics with tailored high-end systems packing open-source number-crunching software. Cray Tuesday unveiled the Urika-GX ticking some of the best-known technology boxes and due in the second-half of 2016. The Urika-GX is preinstalled with OpenStack and Apache Mesos for cloud and …
Gavin Clarke, 24 May 2016
How the flying snake looks in simulation

The underbelly of simulation science: replicating the results

Replicating computer-simulated science is harder than you think, as a group of aerospace researchers from George Washington University have found. In fact, without decent versioning, documentation, publication of data and rigorous evidence standards, simulations that attract headlines both in academic and general media should …

Home team wins Asia student cluster competition

HPC Blog For the first time in student cluster competition history, a hometown team has won the Overall Championship award. The team, from China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology, captured the crown at the recently concluded Asia Supercomputer Community 2016 Student Cluster Competition. This win earns them a berth in the …
Dan Olds, 19 May 2016
Fan

Old fashioned engineering: HPC cluster kids would like to thank their fans. No really

HPC Blog Excitement reigned at the Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge Cluster Competition as Zhejiang University set a new student LINPACK record with 12.03 Tflop/s. With this result, they eclipsed the previous record of 10.78 Tflop/s set by Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) at last year’s ISC15 competition. Here's a historical …
Dan Olds, 04 May 2016
Moments of perspiration

Sweaty students push hot HPC clusters through benchmark tests

HPC Blog The first task that students have to perform at the ASC16 Student Cluster Competition is to run the venerable HPL and newish High Performance Conjugate Gradients (HPCG) benchmarks. High performance Linpack (HPL), also known as LINPACK, is a routine that measures floating point performance and is the basis for the Top500 list. …
Dan Olds, 03 May 2016
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Some HPC kids just can't help piling on the weight

HPC Blog We've saved the biggest for last in our round-up of the ASC16 Student Cluster Competition competitors. All of the teams below are driving clusters with more than nine nodes, most with several GPU accelerators. They're definitely power hungry beasts, which will require the teams to apply heavy throttling in order to stay under …
Dan Olds, 03 May 2016
Tesla Model S sports sedan

Student cluster warriors build out 'roomy sedan' clusters

HPC Blog Four teams in the ASC16 Asian Student Cluster Competition decided to stake out the middle ground in the competition with clusters that aren't too small and aren't too big. Is their "just right" approach going to get them into the winners' circle at ASC16? Let's meet the teams and see what they're packing... Dalian University …
Dan Olds, 03 May 2016
The Incredible Shrinking Man

HPC kids find bite-sized clusters are just as chewy

HPC blog Although the teams in the ASC16 Asian Student Cluster Competition are all using the same Inspur-provided gear, there's a LOT of variety in what they built. Cluster sizes in this competition range from three to twelve nodes, with anywhere from zero to eight accelerators. Let's meet the teams who believe that smaller is better …
Dan Olds, 03 May 2016
Halo Wars

Sweaty students prep their hot HPC clusters for Wuhun tussle

HPC blog The Asian Student Supercomputer Competition (ASC) is the closest thing to true stock car racing that you’ll find on the Student Cluster Competition international circuit. At the ASC, you drive nodes that are supplied by major sponsor Inspur, with only limited configurability. Each of the teams below are using nearly identical …
Dan Olds, 26 Apr 2016

175 teams, 4 continents, $36,000: It's the Amazing HPC Cluster Race

HPC Blog The largest student cluster competition in the known world kicked off last Monday in Wuhan, China. Sixteen teams representing universities from China, South America, the US, and Europe are participating in the fifth annual Asian Student Supercomputer Challenge. The competition just gets bigger and bigger. This year, it started …
Dan Olds, 25 Apr 2016
Eni S.p.A Oil and Gas Supercomputer in Italy

How much faster is a quantum computer than your laptop?

HPC blog I jumped at the chance to interview supercomputing pioneer Bo Ewald and quantum computing whiz kid Murray Thom a few months ago. Although it's been in my “vault of lost content” for a while, the video serves as a good primer for quantum computing and its promise. It turns out that there are three broad categories of problem …
Dan Olds, 18 Apr 2016
Bibliotecha Alexandrina

Bibliotheca Alexandrina buys a Huawei superdupercomputer

Egypt’s national library is buying a 118 teraflop supercomputer from Huawei capable of handling bioinformatics, data mining, physics simulation, weather forecast, drilling for oil and groundwater, and cloud computing – raising questions about what it will be used for. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a grandiose Egyptian state …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2016

Large Hadron Collider gets 4,500 more data-crunching GPUs

Swiss super Piz Daint is getting an upgrade with 4,500 Nvidia Pascal GPUs, replacing 5,200 existing K20x accelerators. The iron, operated by the Swiss National Supercomputer Centre CSCS in Lugano, will have its 7.8 petaflop current performance doubled to nearly 16 petaflops. Announced at GTC16, the upgrade will also include …

Inside Nvidia's Pascal-powered Tesla P100: What's the big deal?

GTC16 So there it is: the long-awaited Nvidia Pascal architecture GPU. It's the GP100, and it will debut in the Tesla P100, which is aimed at high-performance computing (think supercomputers simulating the weather and nuke fuel) and deep-learning artificial intelligence systems. The P100, revealed today at Nvidia's GPU Tech …
Chris Williams, 06 Apr 2016
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 …

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. …
Dan Olds, 16 Mar 2016
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 …
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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) …

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