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Dell EMC cranks Xeon servers into ludicrous mode with Tesla GPUs

Dell EMC is adding a Xeon Phi server and Tesla GPU acceleration to its PowerEdge high-performance computing (HPC) server line-up The new PowerEdge HPC servers look like this: C6320p with Intel's Xeon Phi processor C4130 now comes with Nvidia Tesla P100 GPU accelerator R730 also gets Tesla P100 GPU acceleration The …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2016
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Boffins of the future gear up to build their own beastmode rigs

HPC Blog The tenth annual Student Cluster Competition kicked off Monday at the SC16 conference here in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a competition for the ages, with some wildly divergent hardware configurations, more teams than ever before at a SC competition (14), plus some special features that are sure to throw the budding HPCers for …
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Reg inquiry sees CSIRO clarify supercomputer tender

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has clarified its requirements for a new supercomputer, after an inquiry from The Register pointed out an inconsistency in its tender. As we reported yesterday, CSIRO's tender called for Windows compatibility and either Intel x86 or IBM Power CPUs …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
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OpenStack brings cloud at the press of a button

HPC Blog Eddy Shvartsman, self-described head nerd of the IBM OpenStack Toolkit for OpenPOWER, outlined the newest version of the toolkit at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona. He characterised it as a one-button cloud configuration that includes hardware, management software stack and operations management software. …

European Commission dangles €374m for low-power exascale research

Europe is trying to plant a flag in future chip development, slinging money towards low-power server silicon. Through its Horizon 2020 research collaboration, the European Commission pus published a solicitation for the project. There's nearly €375m on offer for the project, which looks to push more digitisation “outside the …
Lisa Harvey-Smith at ASKAP

Australia teases binning x86 for Power CPUs in new supercomputer

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has issued a (regwalled) tender for a new petaflop-class supercomputer that can run either x86 or Power systems silicon. But those keen to declare Intel's high-end reign is coming to an end should not get too excited: the tender may mention Power …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2016

Terror plot spy project helps Kinetica crank up database speed

HPC blog Kinetica presented its in-memory database solution at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona, and served up some benchmark results. You can see the entire presentation in the video below, but here are a few highlights. First, for those of you unfamiliar with Kinetica, the company came out of a US military research …
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10x faster servers? Pop a CAPI in your dome

HPC Blog How does 10x faster server performance sound to you? Not in five or six years, but in late 2017? Ground breaking things are afoot in the server world. IBM’s new OpenCAPI mechanism, and the accompanying organization, promises to make this vision reality. So what the hell is this new version of CAPI and who cares if it’s open? …

Edinburgh University to flog its supercomputer for £0.0369 per core hour

The University of Edinburgh's supercomputer, Cirrus, is now being rented to businesses for their mega-performance computing needs. Cirrus is housed at the University's Advanced Computing Facility at Easter Bush, which also hosts the UK's national supercomputing service, ARCHER, although it doesn't really compare to ARCHER's …

Nvidia: Eight bits ought to be enough for anybody ... doing AI

Analysis Nvidia has designed a couple of new Tesla processors for AI applications – the P4 and the P40 – and is talking up their 8-bit math performance. The 16nm FinFET GPUs use Nv's Pascal architecture and follow on from the P100 launched in June. The P4 fits on a half-height, half-length PCIe card for scale-out servers, while the …
Chris Williams, 13 Sep 2016
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Oz universities plan big iron to look for gravitational waves

A new supercomputer is one of the goodies that Australia's Swinburne University will get in a newly-launched gravitational wave research project. The university's professor Matthew Bailes is leading an AU$31.3 million initiative called OzGRav, and is drawing together local researchers who already have experience in …
NASA's exploding star illustration

US Dept of Energy flings cash at exascale simulators

America's Department of Energy (DoE) has announced US$39.8 million in funding for the first round of grants in its Exascale Computing Project. The winners include 15 applications covering 22 projects with 45 research and academic participants. This round of funding covers modelling and simulation applications “with a focus on …
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Fujitsu's billion-dollar ARM supercomputer delayed by up to 2 years

Fujitsu's monster ARM-powered supercomputer, the Post-K, will miss its 2020 deadline. The $910m project has stalled because its engineers need more time to design, test and perfect the machine's processors, we can confirm. Fujitsu was hired by Japan's boffinry nerve-center RIKEN to produce a roughly 1,000 peta-FLOPS …
Chris Williams, 07 Sep 2016
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Hardcore core-to-core comms core-alled into hardware

Intel and boffins at the North Carolina State University have cooked up a framework that coordinates core-to-core communications in hardware rather than software. This work is important because to keep processing power scaling up, you want the overhead of multi-core computing processes to stay down. The CAF – core-to-core …

Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Hot Chips Fujitsu chose 64-bit ARM CPU cores for its upcoming exascale supercomputer for two reasons: Linux and the ability to customize its own processors. It was a bit of a surprise when the Japanese IT giant picked ARMv8-A over SPARC64 and x86 for its Post-K beast, which will be used by Japanese boffins to carry out climate-change …
Chris Williams, 23 Aug 2016

Little ARMs pump 2,048-bit muscles in training for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale mega-brain

Hot Chips ARM is bolting an extra data-crunching engine onto its 64-bit processor architecture to get it ready for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale supercomputer. Specifically, ARM is adding a Scalable Vector Extension (SVE) to its ARMv8-A core architecture. SVE can handle vectors from 128 to 2,048 bits in length. This technology is not an …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016
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Nvidia welcomes Intel into AI era: Fancy a benchmark deathmatch?

HPC blog Nvidia just fired the first salvo in what promises to be a classic and long-lived benchmark death match vs Intel. In a webpage titled "Correcting Intel's Deep Learning Benchmark Mistakes," Nvidia claimed that Intel was using outdated GPU benchmark results and non-current hardware comparisons to show off its new Knights Landing …
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Intel teases geeks with 2017 AI hyper-chip: Xeon Phi Knights Mill

IDF16 Intel is working on a powerful Xeon Phi processor for servers and workstations that is "optimized" for artificial-intelligence software – and it's codenamed Knights Mill. Chipzilla's data center group boss Diane Bryant flashed up this slide during this morning's Intel Developer Forum keynote in San Francisco: The chip is …
Chris Williams, 17 Aug 2016
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Xeon Phight! Phight! Phight! Nvidia says Intel cheated benchmarks

Nvidia has fired its latest salvo in the ongoing “benchmark wars”, accusing Intel of fudging Knights Landing (Xeon Phi) comparisons to GPUs. The particular claims that Chipzilla made during ISC 16 in June related to deep learning performance claims, specifically that Xeon Phi ran a deep learning benchmark 2.3 times faster in …
SGI in Jurassic Park

OMG: HPE gobbles SGI for HPC. WTF?

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has bought venerable computing firm SGI – formerly Silicon Graphics – for $275m. Over the past few years, SGI has concentrated on the big-iron end of the server market and high-performance computing. It's this technology that HPE wants to bolster its hardware lineup. "At HPE, we are focused on …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2016
NVidia aims to gives games power to handhelds

PCs? Eh, who needs 'em? Nvidia asks while hoovering up more cash

Nvidia says its last quarter set record high marks for revenues, as returns were up across the board. For the second quarter of fiscal 2017 – the three months to July 31 this year – the California-based GPU specialists logged: Revenues of $1.43bn, a 24 per cent increase over last year's $1.15bn. Net income of $253m was up …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Aug 2016

Intel gobbles AI chip biz Nervana for $350m

Intel is knuckling down its efforts into artificial intelligence by buying Nervana Systems, a startup company that specializes in deep learning. The deal is, we're told, worth $350m. Chipzilla's server-grade processors, the Xeon and Xeon Phi, power a lot of the world's deep learning training, and it's the algorithms from …
Intel's "Knights Landing" processor

Hot iron: Knights Landing hits 100 gigaflops in plasma physics benchmark

Russian researchers working with an Intel supercomputer have put its Knights Landing hardware through its paces, and are pleased with what they've found. The boffins reckon the many-cored hot rod more than doubled their plasma simulation performance with nothing more than a simple recompile. Here's what they had to say at …
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Cray profits literally go up in smoke after electrical incident

Cray has revealed that its products' Q2 profits have literally gone up in smoke. The company this week announced second quarter revenue of US$100.2m, down from $186.2m in 2015's corresponding quarter. That dip meant the company incurred a loss of $13.1m compared to last year's $5.8m profit. Things aren't going to be much …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2016
Road Closed sign

Seagate to dismount and fsck its ClusterStor?

Amid the looming closure of its Havant facility in the UK, Seagate has nothing to say about the future of ClusterStor, its HPC disk array product line that was engineered there. When we learned Seagate was planning to close its Havant site with 325 job losses, we realized that this was the ClusterStor development shop. …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2016

Google tests its own quantum computer – both qubits of it

A couple of years ago, a quantum physicist suggested to Vulture South that one of the best uses for quantum computers might be to model reality. Now, Google reckons its boffins have done just that. Science wants to model quantum systems because they lie at the heart of reality. For example, chemistry – where Google has chosen …
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It's neat having speedy, flashy boxen but they need connecting, too

HPC Blog The next big battle ground in High Performance Computing, and thereafter in large enterprise computing, will be centered on high performance interconnects (HPI). These are the mechanisms that tie systems together and enable high speed communication between nodes. The HPI market is the very high-end of the networking equipment …
Chinatown_London

China prototypes pre-exascale super trio with its own non-US chips

Before any country can deploy an exascale system, they have to get pre-exascale prototypes into the field to test out their underlying technologies and determine what approaches have the best chance of scaling up performance and being manufactured affordably. It looks like China is looking at three different pre-exascale systems …
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Rise up! Rise up! Rise up to the OpenPOWER Developer Challenge

Promo IBM has created a virtual hackathon for all you lovely developers to test drive your data-intensive applications on the OpenPOWER server, GPU and accelerator platform. And there’s $27,000 worth of prizes on the table. Want to give it a go? Check out the competition rules and register for the OpenPOWER Developer Challenge. The …
David Gordon, 08 Jul 2016

Points tables unveiled: Who needs sport? Follow HPC kids' summer cluster cup final

HPC Blog The results are in for the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) 2016 Student Cluster Competition, and we've analyzed them senseless. First for the big headlines: the ever-plucky Team South Africa won their third ISC Student Cluster Competition championship last week at ISC'16. Team Tsinghua was following closely …
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Lenovo HPC bounces back after IBM spinoff

When IBM sold off its System x division to Lenovo Group in the fall of 2014, some big supercomputing centers in the United States and Europe that were long-time customers of Big Blue had to stop and think about what their future systems would look like and who would supply them. It was not a foregone conclusion that the Xeon- …

WTF is WRF and Clover? Cluster kids use HPC grunt to solve the mystery

HPC blog One of the most interesting parts of the ISC Student Cluster competitions is their inclusion of “mystery” applications and tasks. These are something that the students can’t prepare for. They can only rely on their training and wits to bring them through. For the 2016 ISC competition, Pak Lui, the Cluster Master in Chief (CMC …

Powerful ARMs, heaving racks ... yes, of course it's this year's student cluster-building contest

HPC Blog It's time for our traditional video look at each of the teams in the ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) 2016 Student Cluster Competition. Let's take it alphabetically this time... Team Boston Green: They're one of two teams utilizing ARM processors to fuel their cluster. A lot of ARM processors, about 800 cores …

Undergrads build 12.6-TFLOPS cluster out of four nodes, 112 cores

HPC Blog The ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) Student Cluster Competition once again cements its reputation as the place where LINPACK records go to fall. Last week we saw not one, but two teams top the current 12.03 TFLOPS record that was established at the ASC'16 spring competition. Team HUST, from the Huazhong …
 CRAY-1 on display in the hallways of the EPFL in Lausanne.

Cray explores options for supercomputing-as-a-service

Cray is exploring options to offer supercomputing "as a service", but don’t expect AWS to be offering the venerable vendor’s number-crunching monsters online anytime soon. Rather, the company is looking at ways it can offer its technology as a service, which if nothing else potentially relieves customers of at least some of …
Joe Fay, 27 Jun 2016
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

It's all fun and games until someone loses a rack*

HPC Blog This year’s ISC’16 Student Cluster Competition boasts the most diverse set of hardware in the near 10-year history of student cluster competitions. Student teams are running three different system architectures (x86, ARM, and Power) in both traditional and hybrid (hardware accelerated) forms. The configurations of these …
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Nice cluster, kid. But can these supercomputing students actually predict the weather?

HPC blog Your correspondent wrote this blog during the action at the ISC’16 Student Cluster Competition arena, located on the trade show floor of the ISC’16 conference. So far, everything is going well for the teams – everyone has their hardware and finished their basic set-up over the weekend. Yesterday was when the rubber met the …
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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
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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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