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Euro boffins plan supercomputer to SIMULATE HUMAN BRAIN

The European Commission has selected the Human Brain Project (HBP) as one of its Future and Emerging Technologies and will send it up to €1.19b over ten years so it can build a supercomputer capable of simulating the human brain. The HBP wants to build a simulated brain because we don't know enough about our grey matter. The …
The Eurora supercomputer built by Eurotech and Nvidia

Italian 'Eurora' supercomputer pushes the green envelope

The "Eurora" supercomputer that was just fired up in Italy may not be large, but it has taken the lead in energy efficiency over designs from big HPC vendors like Cray and IBM. The new machine was built by Eurotech, a server maker with HPC expertise that is based on Amaro, Italy, in conjunction with graphics chip and GPU …
Stacking up chips to make tiny Daleks for the data center

Power-mad HPC fans told: No exascale for you - for at least 8 years

I recently stumbled upon a transcript from a very recent interview with HPC luminaries Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, Top500 list) and Horst Simon (deputy director at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.) The topic? Nothing less than the future of supercomputers. These are pretty good guys to ask, since they’re …
An Atipa tech builds a supercomputer cluster in Kansas

Company you never heard of builds 3.4 petaflops super for DOE

Nature abhors a vacuum as well as an oligopoly, which is why upstart supercomputer maker Atipa Technologies may find itself having an easier time getting its foot into the data center door now that Cray has eaten supercomputer-maker Appro International. The company you've never heard of is Atipa, a division of PC and server …
Stanford's jet-noise simulation needed a milliion cores

Researchers break records with MILLION-CORE calculation

HPC blog Stanford’s Engineering Center for Turbulence Research (SECTR) has claimed a new record in computer science by running a fluid dynamics problem using a code named CharLES that utilised more than one million cores in the hulking great IBM Sequoia at once. According to the Stanford researchers, it’s the first time this many cores …
Stanford's jet-noise simulation needed a milliion cores

Stanford super runs million-core calculation

Stanford University engineers are claiming a record for the year-old Sequoia supercomputer, after running up a calculation that used more than a million of the machine’s cores at once. The work was conducted by the university’s Centre for Turbulence Research, seeking to get a model for supersonic jet noise that’s more …
SGI logo hardware close-up

SGI swings to a gain despite $50m in 'LMDs of profit destruction'

Supercomputer and cloud server maker Silicon Graphics ran a dog and pony show last week on Wall Street at the Needham Growth Conference, and because it was going to talk about its business the company had to release preliminary financial results for its second quarter of fiscal 2013 to avoid being busted for selective disclosure …
NOAA's Startus supercomputer

2012 in supercomputing: Ceepie-geepies, a weak ARM and the need for speed

HPC blog A lot has happened in HPC over the past year. I would say that the speeding up of development of accelerators and the rising number of hybrid CPU+GPU systems are probably the most noteworthy trends we saw in 2012. Over the next year we’re going to see even more use cases for hybrid systems, and I expect to see much wider use in …
The Corvus Supercomputer at eResearch SA

Storage glitches fell Australian supercomputers

Supercomputers at two Australian research organisations have experienced substantial downtime after glitches hit their storage area networks. West Australia’s iVEC experienced an outage, detailed here, that saw its Data Direct Networks (DDN) array and the 1152-core Fornax machine unavailable for around four days. iVEC’s …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013
Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) logo

DDN grabs first slab of 100PB storage cloud

Data Direct Networks (DDN) will provide storage for a node of Australia's Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI), a $AUD50m project aimed at creating a pool of storage the nation's researchers can use to house large quantities of data, the better to feed it into the nation's supercomputers and subject it other forms of …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013
cray cascade mountain

Cray beats out SGI at German HPC consortium

The Höchstleistungsrechnen is going to have a different brand name and architecture on it at the Norddeutschem Verbund für Hoch- und Höchstleistungsrechnen (HLRN) supercomputing alliance in Northern Germany, now that Cray has beat out SGI for a big bad box that will have a peak theoretical performance in excess of 2 petaflops. …
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

Potty-mouthed Watson supercomputer needed filth filter

IBM's Watson supercomputer was smart enough to beat two human opponents on US quiz show Jeopardy!, but there is apparently some knowledge that the system is still too immature to handle – namely, the contents of the Urban Dictionary. Watson is perhaps the most sophisticated artificial intelligence computer system developed to …
China's Tianahe-1A Supercomputer

China to build ANOTHER 100 petaflops hybrid supercomputer by 2014?

We passed through the 10 petaflops barrier in the supercomputer racket last year, and the next station on the train to exaflops is 100 petaflops. China already admitted at last year's International Super Computing '12 shindig that it was working on a kicker to Tianhe-1A hybrid CPU-GPU supercomputer, with the goal of having the …
New Mexico's Encanto supercomputer

Where do old supercomputers go to die? New Mexico

Moore's Law puts supercomputers out to pasture because power – not just the cost of electricity, but the availability of juice – is the biggest constraint at the big supercomputing centers. And sometimes the lack of budget helps lock the gate, and HPC cloud computing butchers the cow. That's the case with the massive 28-rack …

Cray misses revenue targets for Q4

Veteran supercomputer-maker Cray has warned Wall Street moneymen to expect lower-than-forecast results for its 2012 financial report. Cray has been absolutely clear that the multi-petaflopping "Blue Waters" and "Titan" supercomputers being installed respectively at the University of Illinois and Oak Ridge National Laboratory …

Mellanox trips on faulty InfiniBand cables in Q4

InfiniBand and Ethernet switch and adapter maker Mellanox Technologies said after the market closed on Wednesday that the company was not going to make its revenue targets for the fourth quarter and full 2012 year – in part because of the jittery economy but mostly because of a bug in InfiniBand cables. In a statement, Mellanox …
LLNL's Sequoia BlueGene/Q super being assembled by IBM

IBM taps Red Hat for cut-throat priced Linux on big supers

Big Blue is going to Red Hat for a Linux environment for its largest supercomputers, and it is mothballing its own LoadLeveler workload manager for x86 clusters in favor of the Platform LSF control freak that it acquired a little more than a year ago. It is no surprise that IBM has chosen Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 as the Linux …
Fujitsu K supercomputer

Big bad boxes drive explosive growth for HPC in Q3

The server market as a whole is having its issues, with both virtualization and the jittery global economy holding down physical box counts – and therefore revenues – more than they might otherwise be. But the supercomputer market is chugging right along. Networks keep getting faster, virtualization has yet to touch its boxes, …

Free HPC cluster to good home

HPC blog Interested in getting your hands on some serious system hardware for free? Well, with a few provisos, you could get your hands on a nearly new HPC cluster. First off, you'll need to be in the research game - in a US- or Canada-based academic or government lab, or some other non-profit research institution. (We’re talking about …

Vid: EXTREME computer sports: Meet the cluster war winners

SC12 Video The 2012 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) is in the books and we have all of the results, right here, right now. First, as was released earlier, China’s Team NUDT ran away with the Highest LINPACK Award, an SCC record 3.014 Teraflop/s score. Their compatriots, Team USTC, locked in second place with 2.793 Teraflops/s, and the …

HPC cluster cowboys bag overall award, haul it home to Texas

SC12 Video I caught up with Team Longhorn just before they turned in their final results for the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). As you can see in the short video, they’re pretty cool and composed, but I thought I sensed a little bit of anxiety under the surface. As it turns out, they should have been more relaxed – they were …

FINAL NIGHT: Boston kids power down cluster compo systems

SC12 Early on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition, I hit a couple of morning meetings and then went wandering around the competition area. Most of the teams had at least two or three reps in the booths monitoring the systems and just sort of hanging around. They had turned in their final scientific results the night …

Team Utah grabs Mini Iron crown at little cluster compo

SC12 Until this year, the annual SC Student Cluster Competition focused entirely on seeing how much work teams of university students could wring out of 26 amps of juice. They can use any hardware/software combination that will run the required apps; the only limitation is that their configuration has to be shipping by the time of …

Team Boilermaker: We hammer the code... not the booze

SC12 Video We had a chat with Team Boilermaker on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition. While the team did visit several of the vendor parties the night before, they assert that they didn’t overindulge, and claim that the absence of some team members is due to meetings, not hangovers. I think I buy that explanation; …

NUDT on HPC battle: Total cluster supremacy - Who needs it?

SC12 Video Team NUDT (China’s own National University of Defense Technology) was all smiles when I stopped by their booth on the final day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). And what’s not to smile about? They had just won the LINPACK award with their record-breaking 3 Teraflop/s score and were considered a serious …

Video: High school kids fend off university challenge in student cluster battle

SC12 The SC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) has seen university teams from around the world vying to prove their cluster competence. But this year has been marked by a number of firsts, including the first team composed entirely of high school students. The Skyline High School Eagles, located in Salt Lake City, entered the LittleFe …

10,000 cities, 1 salesman, 6 nodes: It's LittleFe cluster CRUNCH TIME

SC12 Video It was the last day of last week’s SC12 Student Cluster Competition, and Pennsylvania university students Team Slippery Rock chatted to us during the LittleFe battle. In this competition track, teams of university students (plus a high school team) pushed their six-node LittleFe mini-iron to the limit, attempting to find …
IBM logo

IBM recasts Power 775 Blue Waters super as big data muncher

IBM has yanked the chain on the petaflopping 'Blue Waters' supercomputer that it was going to install at the University of Illinois this fall because it was too expensive to make at the budgeted price. But that doesn't mean the Power 775 server nodes that comprised IBM's Blue Waters machine are not useful. Ditto for the PERCS …

Cluster compo newcomers slap down winning hand: 6 NVIDIA Tesla cards

SC12 Video Here’s a short look at what the team from China’s University of Science & Technology was up to on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). There’s a pretty big language barrier here – one that’s made worse by my inability to speak slowly and clearly after drinking a quart of press room coffee. (A note/ …

Comp sci boffins Venus: HPC newbies post respectable score

SC12 Video We spent a few minutes on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) talking to Team Venus from the University of the Pacific. This is not only their first year in the cluster competition, but also the first time any of the students have done anything at all HPC-related. Under the mentorship of Oak Ridge …

Team Taiwan: We're ready to win this thing

SC12 Video I’ve covered Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) Student Cluster Competition team for three years now. And every time I talk to them they’re personable, friendly, and modest. Very modest. Too modest. This is a team with a serious pedigree that’s backed up by the best track record in the game. First of all, …

Team Venus disappears at computer sports smackdown

SC12 Video It was an exciting start to the real-time, non-stop 48-hour cluster challenge, in which the teams of undergrads design and assemble a small cluster and race to demonstrate the greatest sustained performance across a series of applications. Here’s a short video covering the beginning of the SC12 edition of the Student …

Cluster cake pulled open: Oozes cores, GPU gravy, mineral oil

SC12 At last, I can reveal the final configurations of the systems the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) warriors brought to Salt Lake City last week. Here’s the gear they were running… First, kudos to all of the sponsors who generously provided so much equipment at no cost to the cluster crown competitors. (There isn’t a real …
Accelerator nodes for the UV 2000 sporting Xeon Phi and Tesla coprocessors

SGI UV 2000 supers are Intel and Nvidia inside

Supercomputer makers used to stuffing processors and networks into machines to build clusters or shared memory systems have to adapt their machines to take advantage of various kinds of compute accelerators that offers cheaper flops, and Silicon Graphics is no exception. To that end, the company has reworked its high-end UV 2000 …
The Beast Master with Kodo and Podo

HP ProLiant SL270s Gen8 beast masters eight coprocessors

If you have decided that you want to build a grunting number-cruncher that crams a hefty number of Tesla or Xeon Phi coprocessors into a single chassis, then Hewlett-Packard wants to talk to you about the new ProLiant SL270s Gen8 server. The new SL270s Gen8 slides into the SL6500 "scalable system" modular chassis, which makes it …

Chinese baby war-boffins bust 3Tflops, snatch student LINPACK crown

SC12 Salt Lake City is abuzz with news that China's NUDT team has once again snared the LINPACK benchmark crown at a student cluster-building competition. The team's record-breaking score of 3.014 TFLOPS topped all other competitors and marked the first time a student cluster team has broken through the 3 TFLOPS barrier. This is the …

Cray notches up two Urika graph analysis appliance sales

It has been a busy couple of weeks for supercomputer maker Cray, with the rollout of the 27-petaflops "Titan" supercomputer, the debut of the next-generation XC30 system, and the acquisition of sometime HPC rival Appro International. News that Cray had sold two of its Urika big data analytics appliances got a little lost in the …
spiders crawl through tunnel of binary numbers

Boiler Makers swing hammer at SC12, Team Taiwan tries for a three-peat

SC12 Video Team Taiwan (from Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University) has a chance to become a three time Overall Award winner at the SC12 Student Cluster Competition here in Salt Lake City. They notched their first win at SC10 in New Orleans, repeated the feat the next year in Seattle, and are now looking for the hat trick in Salt …

Tianhe-1A schoolkids bring their best game, GPUs to cluster punchup

SC12 Video: Here’s a look at one of the two Chinese entries into the SC12 Student Cluster Competition. These kids are from the University of Science and Technology and are not only battling their cluster competitors, but are also fighting jet-lag, 8.5 inches (21cm) of snow, and my inability to speak slowly/clearly enough to be …

Texans forget deep fryer, add GPUs to lasso data-crunching crown

SC12 Meet the 2012 edition of the Texas Longhorn Student Cluster Competition team. This video was shot right after they received the scientific application data sets and had begun their initial processing. We discuss how they parcel up the work in their cluster and how they now have tools that give them a much better idea of what …

DataDirect plunks $100m on storage array disguised as a super

Supercomputer storage supplier DataDirect Network is setting up a $100m exascale computing lab. The goal is to hit one quintillion floating-point operations per second, and DDN hopes this mind-boggling level of number-crunching will be reached by 2018. The company is going to direct its funds to: Accelerating IO with a new file …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2012

Snow and ice fail to freeze battlin' Big Iron bots in their tracks

SC12 It's time, once again, to meet some more plucky contenders in the SC12 Student Cluster Competition. Team Slippery Rock We meet the Slippery Rock team for the first time. They’re competing in the Mini Iron LittleFe division of the cluster-building contest. In the video they explain their strategy for achieving the best …