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Bursting out of a box

We wuz right: Big Blue ARE stuffing System x boxen with ULLtraDIMMs

Confirming our story about IBM stuffing ULLtraDIMMs into its an X-series servers, storage news upstart EnterpriseTech*reports that Big Blue's coming X6 servers, supporting Xeon E7 v2 processors, will have eXFlash memory channel storage: flash memory on a DDR3 module running on the memory bus. A SanDisker confirmed it was …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2014

UNREAL, dude: Nvidia uncloaks Tegra K1 graphics monster for your mobile ... and CAR

CES 2014 Nvidia has unveiled two versions of a new Tegra mobile processor aimed at both radically improving graphics performance of mobile gaming and putting "a supercomputer in your car," in the words of company co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. The new chip, dubbed the Tegra K1, has "the heart of GeForce and the soul of Tesla," Huang …
Rik Myslewski, 6 Jan 2014

There can be only one SC13 student cluster champion team. And it is...

HPC blog Team Longhorn from the University of Texas won the Overall Championship Award in the Big Iron division of the SC13 student cluster-constructing competition in Denver. Now that the dust has settled on the contest – which challenges undergraduates to build and benchmark HPC rigs against the clock – here's the lowdown on the …

What happens when you give undergrads $2,500 to build a HPC rig out of commodity parts? This...

HPC Blog The team from Bentley University and Northeastern University took the first ever Commodity Track Overall Championship award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. In this competition, student teams had to build a true HPC cluster (at least two nodes), while spending a maximum of $2,500. After building and …

China's supercomputing whizzkids: Busting out a 8.224 teraflops cluster? Guilty as charged

HPC blog China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) grabbed the LINPACK award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. NUDT topped all other competitors with a score of 8.224 TFLOP/s. NUDT’s LINPACK win isn’t a surprise to competition observers, the team hails from the home of Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-2, …
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

China's answer to AIRPOCALYPSE: Fire up the supercomputer

China has decided to use the power of supercomputing to help in its on-going quest to beat the smog that is turning the country into an international coughing laughing stock. The Tianhe-1A, which took number one spot on the oft-changing Top 500 list for a few months in 2010, will be set to work trying to figure out the cause of …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Dec 2013

Asleep on the job: Students dream of GROPING RACKS after darkness falls

HPC blog Student Cluster competitions at the annual Supercomputing Conference in Denver, Colorado, are marathons. The students who work their magic on the big iron get a set of scientific applications and some data sets, but they have only 48 hours to submit their best results – all while keeping their self-designed clusters under the 26 …

Where do HPC brainbox students go after ULTIMATE VICTORY?

HPC vid We’ve been following these student cluster competitions for several years now (since 2010, to be more specific). While we’ve talked about how ambitious and driven these kids are, and how these competitions can open many doors for them, we’ve never asked the seniors what they’re headed towards after they graduate. We’re fixing …
Vulture

SGI flutters onto corpse of Starboard Storage, pecks away at assets

The Register is hearing that HPC bods SGI have bought the assets of the failed unified file/block access and hybrid array startup Starboard Storage, which crashed and burned in October. Some Starboard employees are now back at work and the product line technology is set to continue. What's SGI about here? Their CEO is Jorge …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2013

Meet the cluster teams: Can Slippery Rock or Sun Devils burn?

HPC blog Here's an up close and personal look at two of the four teams that competed in the SC13 Commodity Track Cluster Competition. These teams could build anything their hearts desired as long as the total cost was less than $2,500 (US). University of Slippery Rock (Team Rock) This is the second year that Slippery Rock has fielded a …
Cables

Meet the cluster teams: High schoolers and even more Boston

HPC Blog Four teams brought their $2,500 clusters to SC13 in an effort to prove that they alone can get the most FLOP/s out of their cheap gear. We've already covered the teams from Slippery Rock University and Arizona State, now let's get a gander at the other two teams. Skyline High School (Team Skyline) Team Skyline is the youngest …

Meet the cluster teams: Mass Chowdah and Tennessee Volunteers

HPC blog Here's our first look at the final two teams who competed in the Standard (Big Iron) Track at the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver. Mass Green (“Team Chowdah”) has competed in two previous SC cluster competitions (Seattle in 2011 and Salt Lake in 2012). It’s a competitive team, but one that hasn’t quite been able to …
Cat 5 cable

Meet the cluster teams: Team Quokka and Team Germany

HPC blog We had a couple more first time teams competing in the Student Cluster Competition at SC13 in Denver last week. These two teams traveled overseas in an attempt to grab cluster glory and haul it back home. ('Cluster glory' will comfortably fit in the overhead bin on most airplanes.) Team Quokka: This is the nickname for Australia …
cable

Meet the cluster teams: Chinese Fortune Rookies, Team Venus 2.0

HPC blog Here's another up close and personal look at two of the Standard Track (Big Iron) teams that competed for the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver crown (there still isn't any actual crown, however.) Both teams have competed before, but they're staffed by almost completely new personnel. National University of Defense …

Meet the Cluster teams: Colorado and Texas

HPC blog Exciting times at the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver this year. Time to take an up close and personal look at two of the most experienced teams in the competition, Colorado and Texas. These teams have distinctly different personas. Colorado teams are usually reserved and businesslike, while Texas teams tend to be a …

Mini-cluster competitor configs revealed

SC'13 The students in the Commodity Track of the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver faced quite a challenge last week. They had to build at least a dual-node HPC cluster, but could only spend a total of $2,500 on it. There are lots of ways to go. You can get the smallest/cheapest motherboards possible and string a bunch of …
Twisted Metal

BIG IRON cluster warriors put pedal to HOT METAL

HPC blog We saw an interesting assortment of gear from the teams competing in the SC13 Standard (Big Iron) Track of the Student Cluster Competition. As you can see on the handy table below, the teams had a lot in common on the surface. They all ran some variety of Intel Xeon as their base CPU, most were using Mellanox Infiniband …
SGI Ice Cube Dual Row Container

US govt cuts squeeze crucial computer science, shoot country in foot

SC13 Analysis The US is shooting itself in the return-on-investment foot by tightening the screws on support for research on advanced computing systems. That was the message expressed loud and clear by a trio of HPC heavyweights during a "Retrospective on Supercomputing Technologies" session celebrating the 25th anniversary of the SC13 …
Rik Myslewski, 22 Nov 2013
Xeon plus stack of memory

Intel pulls up SoCs, reveals 'integrated' memory on CPUs

Intel said it was working on stacking a layer of memory on its Xeon processors to run memory-bound workloads faster. It said this in a pitch at the Denver-based Supercomputing Conference (SC13) which is running from 17 to 22 Nov. According to an EE Times report, Intel's Rajeeb Hazra, a VP and general manager of its data centre …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2013

Green supercomputer benchmarks make boffins see red, check blueprints

SC13 The biannual Green500 list of the most energy-efficient supercomputers has broken new ground in two important ways: for the first time an HPC system broke the 4 gigaflops per watt barrier, and also for the first time all the top 10 systems benefitted from GPU acceleration. Then there's a third bit of note: the benchmarks are …
Rik Myslewski, 21 Nov 2013

Nvidia to Intel: 'Which HPC chip brain will win? Let the people decide'

SC13 Nvidia is of the opinion that in the tussle with Intel as to whether Nvidia's Tesla GPU accelerators or Chipzilla's Xeon Phi many-core CPU coprocessors will dominate the supercomputing market, the HPC community has already voted with its checkbooks. "This community continues to invest in GPU computing – GPU-based accelerated …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Nov 2013

Micron takes on Intel with 'breakthrough' processor for streaming data

Memory specialist Micron has announced a new accelerator processor that it claims outperforms Intel's chips when it comes to dealing with streaming data. The "Automata Processor" was announced by the company on Monday and billed as a device that uses the inherent parallelism of memory architectures to speed the ingestion and …
Jack Clark, 19 Nov 2013

Decades ago, computing was saved by CMOS. Today, no hero is in sight

SC13 The general chair of the SC13 supercomputing conference thinks the semiconducting industry has reached a tipping point more radical – and uncertain – than it has gone through in decades. "We've reached the end of a technological era where we had a very stable technology," Bill Gropp, Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science at …
Rik Myslewski, 19 Nov 2013
The Cave 2 visualisation facility in Melbourne, Australia

Why not build a cluster out of WORKSTATIONS?

Australia's Monash University has just opened an amazing visualisation facility called Cave 2. The facility offers an eight-metre long, 320-degree wall comprised of 80 3D monitors with a combined resolution of 27320 x 3072 pixels. “We spend millions of dollars building supercomputers and then look at the results they produce on …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2013

Nvidia, AMD tout 12GB GPUs for supers ... But ONE question remains

SC13 The battle of the big-memory GPU cards targeted at HPC and the data center is now well underway, with AMD having unveiled its FirePro S10000 12GB Edition card, and Nvidia announcing its 12GB Tesla K40 GPU accelerator card today. Nvidia Tesla K40 GPU card Nvidia Tesla K40 ... Double your pleasure, double your GDDR5 memory ( …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Nov 2013

Top500: 'Sky River 2' still rules as graphics tech leaves HPC applecart largely untouched

SC13 The Top500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers has been released, and the list of the top five systems could very well be simply a Xerox copy of the previous list, which came out back in summer. In the June rankings, the number one spot was taken by the massively parallel Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2) at China's National …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Nov 2013

IBM and Nvidia: We'll build your data center like a SUPERCOMPUTER

SC13 IBM and Nvidia have announced a partnership to "bring supercomputer performance to the corporate data center," in the words of Nvidia's accelerated computing honcho Ian Buck, with systems based on Nvidia Tesla GPUs and IBM Power8 CPUs, and to accelerate IBM enterprise software using Nvidia GPUs. "This is the biggest technology …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Nov 2013

Nvidia reveals CUDA 6, joins CPU-GPU shared memory party

Nvidia has announced the latest version of its GPU programming language, CUDA 6, which adds a "Unified Memory" capability that, as its name implies, relieves programmers from the trials and tribulations of having to manually copy data back and forth between separate CPU and GPU memory spaces. CUDA 6 Unified Memory schematic …
Rik Myslewski, 16 Nov 2013
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

IBM. HUMAN-crushing SUPERCOMPUTER Watson. The Cloud. You know where THIS is going

IBM is exposing the super computer brain that crushed puny humans in a TV quiz show to the entire internet. Big Blue announced its IBM Watson Developers Cloud on Thursday, inviting all comers to build big data apps that tap the cognitive powers of its Watson super computer. The idea is to tempt application authors keen on …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Nov 2013
2001: A Space Odyssey

Boffins look down back of Amazon Web Services, find a SUPERCOMPUTER

What runs faster than the majority of the world's supercomputers, costs less, and was used to research organic solar-power cells? The answer is Megarun, a 1.21-petaflop super that was spun up by Cycle Computing in the AMAZON CLOUD. Cycle Computing revealed its Megarun beast on Tuesday before the kickoff of Amazon Web Services's …
Jack Clark, 12 Nov 2013
Bird's eye view of the proposed new Nvidia HQ

GPU secrets unveiled for student cluster warriors

SCC'13 We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver. Right now, the 12 student teams are turning over every rock they can find in their hardware and software stack in an effort to eke (and geek) out every last bit of performance. Time is short. In a week or less, they’ll be packing up …
Moments of perspiration

WTF is WRF? Student cluster-wrestlers cram for app SMACKDOWN

SCC 2013 It’s crunch time for the students who will be competing at the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver. The 11 university teams – plus one group of plucky high schoolers – are in cram mode now, trying to figure out how to wring every last bit of performance out of their gear. All teams will be running the same HPC benchmarks …

Excited students, $2,500, quivering racks and dreams of glory

SCC 2013 The new "Commodity Track" of the upcoming SC13 Student Cluster Competition has hit a chord with cluster competition aficionados worldwide and Register readers alike. I laid out the terms of this competition in a recent story, and plenty of you weighed in with recommendations on how these kids could get the most HPC bang out of …

Readers! Here's your chance to join the Celebrity Pro-Am Cluster Challenge

SCC'13 For the first time, HPC professionals will compete against the SC13 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) teams in a winner-take-all cluster showdown. The new event, dubbed the “Celebrity Pro-Am Cluster Challenge”, will begin right after the students turn in their last SCC results on Wednesday afternoon, November 20. The Pro-Am …
CatalystNVRAM

Nuke-whisperers stuff terabytes of flash into heretical 'Catalyst' super

Three technological heavyweights have come together to spin-up a radically different supercomputer cluster designed to crunch "big data" workloads rather than the simulation and modeling jobs of typical HPC rigs. The collaboration between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Intel, and Cray was announced on Monday and sees …
Jack Clark, 4 Nov 2013

Cray scoops Brit switch maker staff and assets from administrator

Cray, the supercomputer maker, has bought intellectual property assets from the collapsed UK switch maker Gnodal and is taking on "the vast majority of staff" to bulk up its European R&D team. Bristol-based Gnodal, a small start-up with just 15 employees, was venture-backed so we infer that it failed to get a new funding round …
Drew Cullen, 4 Nov 2013

Number-crunching quant cooks up gambling machine, promises untold RICHES

HPC blog Have you ever wanted to lay a bet down on the Las Vegas sports books? Or take a bundle of money from the suckers in your office's Final Four betting pool? Is it possible to win sports bets consistently over the long haul? According to the guys at PredictionMachine.com, the answer is yes. Their secret weapon? Numbers, baby – it’s …
Openstack log

Mellanox bakes self into OpenStack, hopes world+dog bytes

Ahead of next week's OpenStack summit in Hong Kong, Mellanox has let it be known that it's baked itself into OpenStack, then baked OpenStack into several of its products. The Hong Kong gabfest is the coming out party for Havana, the eighth release of OpenStack. Everyone who's anyone in the world of cloud is piling in to pop …
Shows a rack of Azul appliances.

Cash-strapped students hungrily eye up old, unloved racks

SCC'13 How much supercomputing can you do with $2,500 worth of hardware? The four teams competing in the SC13 Student Cluster Commodity Track Competition will answer precisely this question - and more. The Commodity Track is a new addition to the SC Student Cluster Competition event this year. We all know and love the Standard Track: …

Intel: Our first five parallel-computing schools are open for business

Chip giant Intel has begun funding research into ways to make applications easier to write for parallel processing systems, and to teach those methods to future generations of computer engineers and scientists. The first five institutions to qualify as Intel Parallel Computing Centres are: the Konrad Zuse Information Technology …
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2013
Hadoop Elephant

Avert your eyes! Hortonworks mates Hadoop beast with SAS

Hadoop company Hortonworks is teaming up with SAS on a strategic partnership to integrate its analytics platform with SAS's suite of data technologies. The alliance was announced on Friday and will give enterprises a "SAS/ACCESS" interface into the Hortonworks Data Platform, which will let them run tools such as Visual Analytics …
Jack Clark, 19 Oct 2013
Elephant

Hadoop 2 stampedes onto world's mega compute clusters

The Apache Software Foundation has branded the data analytics Hadoop platform with version 2 and sent the Elephant-logoed system stampeding out into the wild. The second version of the open-source technology comes with a refreshed compute engine via the YARN data processing and service engine, and the addition of high- …
Jack Clark, 16 Oct 2013