HPC > More stories

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 …
Data, image via Shutterstock

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
Boxers image via Shutterstock

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 …
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, 09 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

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017