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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 …
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 …
Cabling disaster 3

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, 8 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 …
Lenovo_Think_Server_RD_Series

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 …
lightning_cropped

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
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
50 of your British pounds. Photo by Shutterstock

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- …
Man drinks Beer. Photo by shutterstock

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. …
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 …
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, 7 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 …
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 …
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 …
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. …
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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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …

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 …
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 …
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 …