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Black holes come together to produce gravitational waves in a visualisation

Swinburne Uni slings SGI, picks DellTel for new 4,140 core super

Australia's Swinburne University has signed up for a new supercomputer, to help spearhead efforts to detect gravitational waves. OzSTAR will be composed of Dell PowerEdge R740 servers each packing a single 18-core, 36-thread Xeon Gold 6140, a pair of NVIDIA Tesla P100 12GB GPUs and 192GB RAM. Eight of the 115 nodes in the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2017
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Place your bets: How long will 1TFLOPS HPE box last in space without proper rad hardening

SpaceX and HPE will put a modest little supercomputer into space next week to test how computer systems operate in extreme conditions. On Monday, August 14, HPE’s Spaceborne Computer will blast off to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX CRS-12 rocket. It’s part of an experiment to examine if commercial off-the- …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Aug 2017
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Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

Durham University has built itself a secondhand supercomputer from recycled parts and beefed up its contribution to DiRAC (distributed research utilising advanced computing), the integrated facility for theoretical modelling and HPC-based research in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology. The Institute for Cosmological …
Chris Mellor, 04 Aug 2017
Seagate_ClusterStor_L300

Seagate offloads ClusterStor data-nomming plaything on Cray

The incredible shrinking Seagate business is selling its ClusterStor HPC array product line to Cray. Little did we know that when we described Seagate's disk arrays business (ClusterStor and Dot Hill) as a "plaything" earlier this week, Seagate would agree, at least as far as ClusterStor is concerned, and is selling the …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jul 2017
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

190 Cray employees hosed down with shower of pink slippery

Supercomputer supplier Cray is giving 190 employees the elbow in a restructuring exercise to cut operating costs. The laid-off folks, some 15 per cent of Cray's 1,312 headcount at the end of last year, will come from all parts of Cray and in all its geographies, some being executives, and the majority let go by July 21. A …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jul 2017
CSIRO
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Dell and Intel see off IBM and POWER to win new Australian super

Dell has won the gig to build Australia's newest supercomputer. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) issued a tender for the machine late last year and then amended the tender after The Register pointed out it nonsensically suggested it be able to run Windows Server on POWER CPUs, an …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2017
Amazon data center

Amazon supercharges GPU power, spits out Nvidia-backed G3

Amazon has rolled out its latest GPU computing box instance line, G3. It comes in three flavours: g3.4xlarge (1 GPU), g3.8xlarge (2 GPUs), and g3.16xlarge (4 GPUs). The line is meant for 3D modelling, visualisation, video encoding and other graphics-intensive apps. Amazon's G2 line first came out in 2013. The high-horse, …
Andrew Silver, 14 Jul 2017
Alan Turing

Alan Turing Institute bags a Cray Urika-GX to crunch numbers for next-gen tech boffinry

Cray is supplying an Urika-GX analytics machine to the UK’s Alan Turing Institute for data science research. The supercomputer appliance – the GX in the model name indicating it has a graph engine – is an x86-based monster with OpenStack, Apache Mesos, Spark, and Hadoop installed. Its CPUs are 18-core Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4s. …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2017
HMS Vengeance returns to HMNB Clyde. Crown copyright
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Britain's warhead-watcher to simulate Trident nukes with Atos supercomputer

The Atomic Weapons Establishment, which provides warheads for the UK's nuclear weapons, is to use a Bull supercomputer to simulate Trident nuclear warhead explosions. Warhead components change over time through ageing, obsolescence and redesign, which affects their operational efficiency. The AWE can't run test explosions any …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jul 2017

Purdue and NEU coalition breaks HPCG benchmark record

HPC Blog On the HPCG side of the house, Purdue/NEU reigned supreme with their score of 1,394.32. They foiled FAU's plans for a HPC benchmark sweep by topping the Germans by a comfortable margin. Beihang and EPCC took the third and fourth place respectively. HPCG is a benchmark that's hard on both the students and the systems. It's …
Dan Olds, 04 Jul 2017

Mighty Tsinghua crew crushes their cluster rivals in Frankfurt

HPC Blog The ISC Student Cluster Competition is in the record books and now it's time to dive into the numbers and see what happened. This time, we're going to present the results day-by-day and show you how the lead changes hands over time. Day 1: HPCC, HPCG The first day is devoted to industry standard benchmarks. HPCC (also known as …
Dan Olds, 04 Jul 2017
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Students smash competitive clustering LINPACK world record

HPC Blog Enormous happenings at the ISC17 Student Cluster Competition, where students from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat (FAU) broke the student cluster competition world record for HPL (LINPACK). This gives the home court German team the coveted Highest LINPACK award. This marks the first time a German team has won a major …
Dan Olds, 03 Jul 2017
Sony 4K Handycams

Cluster kids: Meet the students giving all for science and HPC glory

HPC Blog As part of our continuing coverage of the most exciting events in the computer sporting world, Student Cluster Competitions, we like to meet each team individually. Through the miracle of video, we can share these conversations with you, the cluster competition aficionados. Use these interviews to help you get to know the …
Dan Olds, 22 Jun 2017

HPE teases HPC punters with scalable gear

The first fruit of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s buy of SGI is set to hit the streets in July with the release of a high performance system - the HPE SGI 8600. The system is a liquid cooled petascale box assembled on legacy SGI ICE AXA architecture, and is aimed squarely at punters involved with beefy scientific and engineering …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2017

Gear, racks, software hacks – what the cluster kids are rockin' at ISC17

HPC Blog The tension is rising at the ISC17 Student Cluster Competition being held this week in Frankfurt, Germany. Eleven university teams are vying for the coveted Ultimate Champion award, the Highest LINPACK award, and the Fan Favourite Prize. I know that everyone is closely following these competitions, but just a few words to the …
Dan Olds, 21 Jun 2017
Supercomputer, image via shutterstock

Swiss super pushes USA off podium in new Top500 Supers list

A GPU injection to the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre's Piz Daint supercomputer has seen it hit 19,590 TFLOPS and in the process bump the “Titan” machine at the USA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory off the podium for just the third time in the history of the TOP500 list of the world's mightiest supercomputers. China's 93, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2017

Cluster-wrestling kids pimp their HPC rides in Frankfurt

HPC Blog Eleven teams at the ISC17 Student Cluster Competition will go head to head live in glamorous Frankfurt, Germany, this week. Yep, this one goes to 11. For those few of you who aren't slavishly following these contests, here's a quick explanation. A student cluster competition is where teams of undergrads design their own …
Dan Olds, 19 Jun 2017

The cloud is great for HPC: Discuss

Sponsored article High-performance computing (HPC) environments are expensive. Government research facilities and commercial laboratories spend hundreds of thousands building out large, monolithic supercomputers and then jealously guard their compute cycles. This approach to HPC is restrictive. It creates a rarified environment in which only the …
Robin Birtstone, 16 Jun 2017
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Stop trying to make The Machine happen, HPE. It's not going to happen

Comment HPE will use a research grant awarded today by the US Department of Energy to develop blueprints for a Machine-based exascale supercomputer. An exascale system is a beast that can hit at least one exaflops – a billion billion floating-point math operations per second. Uncle Sam is bent on getting at least one of these mega- …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jun 2017
HP Apollo supercomputer
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Uncle Sam bungs rich tech giants quarter of a billion bucks for exascale super R&D

The US government has dangled $258m in funding in front of six American tech giants to encourage the development of exascale supercomputer systems. Uncle Sam wants at least one exascale machine powered up on American soil by 2021, and in production by 2022. A second system should also be arriving around that time, ideally. By …
Chris Williams, 15 Jun 2017
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To heck with the laws of physics... we will squeeze more juice from these processors

HPC Blog Dratted laws of physics. Cranking up frequencies is difficult due to leakages from ever smaller guard rails on the electron highways inside the processor. You have to jack up the power to make sure the instructions make it through, which leads to thermal problems. Martin Hilgeman, HPC consultant with Dell EMC, gave a tour de …
Dan Olds, 07 Jun 2017

Crank up the caffeine for ISC Student Cluster Competition 2017

HPC Blog Some people are afraid of public speaking, others fear spiders or snakes. Still others fear having to put together and benchmark high performance computing clusters in front of thousands of spectators and a worldwide audience of millions online. Are you in that camp? If you are, then you have a lot in common with competitors …
Dan Olds, 07 Jun 2017
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock

Want to know more about HPC apps? This explicit vid has some answers

HPC Blog The HPC Advisory Council exists to spread the word about high-performance computing tech, provide a network of expertise, equipment for members, and generally educate all-comers about the wonders of HPC. Thrillingly, it also has a bunch of equipment to play with in-house, including clusters ranging from four to 38 nodes, and a …
Dan Olds, 06 Jun 2017
Total War Attila in game at 4K

Fluster-cluster fracas in Frankfurt: HPC kids fight again

HPC Blog We’re only a few weeks away from the 6th annual ISC Student Cluster Competition, and student cluster aficionados worldwide are gearing up to watch the battle. ISC Cluster Competition Taipan Pak Lui and I shot a video at SC16 where we unveiled the teams for the ISC event, you can watch it below. For those of you who don’t have …
Dan Olds, 31 May 2017

Inspur jacks up huge heat sink-sporting beast

HPC Blog At trade shows, I’m always attracted by the sight of huge heat sinks bunched together on a system board. Big and powerful hardware is a weakness of mine. The sight of them pulls me to the booth like a giant tractor beam. That’s exactly what happened when I wondered by the Inspur booth at GTC17. Its new AGK-2 server is quite …
Dan Olds, 30 May 2017
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock
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Nvidia: Pssst... farmers. Need to get some weeds whacked?

HPC blog While there are always vehicles on the show floor at GTC17, it would seem this is the first time an actual John Deere tractor has been in the mix. But the tractor wasn’t the point, it’s what was attached to the tractor that might be interesting for rural types. Weeds are the bane of farmers as they cut down on crop yields. The …
Dan Olds, 30 May 2017
Matrix kung fu
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GPU-flingers' bash: Forget the Matrix, Neo needs his tensors

HPC blog Last week, Nvidia held its biggest ever GPU Technology Conference (GTC). The big walk-away is that GPUs are rapidly becoming an expected and standard component of computing, table stakes in many cases, across the computing platform. Big deal right there and hence the frothiness of much of the coverage. Before the conference, I …
Shahin Khan, 24 May 2017

IBM man goes deep on why they're all shiny OpenCAPI people

HPC Blog IBM gave the audience a deeper dive into the OpenCAPI initiative and hardware at the recently concluded HPC Advisory Council annual meeting in Lugano, Switzerland. OpenCAPI is a new connection type that gives a high bandwidth, low latency, connection for memory, accelerators, network, storage, and other devices like ASICs. …
Dan Olds, 22 May 2017
networking plugs

Parallel programming masterclass with compsci maven online

HPC Blog Dr DK Panda is a world-recognised expert on parallel programming and networking. He's a Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University and his research group has developed the MVAPICH2 (high performance MPI and MIP+PGAS) libraries for InfiniBand, iWARP, and RoCE with support for GPUs, Xeon Phi, and virtualization. His …
Dan Olds, 22 May 2017

Cray dips toe in supercomputing-as-a-service

With AWS, Google, and IBM's Watson already camped in the high-performance cloud business, it's hardly surprising that Cray would tread carefully as a late entrant into the supercomputer-as-a-service business. The premium-level HPC vendor has decided to start small both in terms of target market and in geography: it's inked a …

HPC kid cluster-wrestle: Gene-sequencing app Falcon was wind beneath winner's wings

HPC Blog Tsinghua University topped their 19 competitors to take home the Overall Championship trophy at the recent ASC17 Student Cluster Competition in Wuxi, China. But this isn’t the first time the school has tasted the sweet nectar of victory while hoisting the winners’ cup. In addition to previous ASC wins, the team had a golden …
Dan Olds, 15 May 2017
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The rise of AI marks an end to CPU dominated computing

HPC blog Just as Intel, the king of CPUs and the very bloodstream of computing announced that it is ending its Intel Development Forum (IDF) annual event, this week in San Jose, NVIDIA, the king of GPUs and the fuel of Artificial Intelligence is holding its biggest GPU Technology Conference (GTC) annual event yet. Coincidence? Nope. …
Shahin Khan, 10 May 2017

Chinese supercomputer newbs smash student cluster-building record

HPC Blog Yet another record has fallen at the Asia Supercomputer Community Student Cluster Competition. This time, it’s the HPCG (High Performance Conjugate Gradients) mark. Little-known Weifang University in Shandong Province, which also set a new student LINPACK record, notched a score of 992.333 GFLOP/s, handily topping the rest of …
Dan Olds, 09 May 2017
guitar player on shuttertsock photo of (sisyphus) man rolling a rock up a hill. photo by SHutterstock/PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek

Why student cluster compos? A supercomputer kids' taskmaster explains

HPC Blog As some of the blogs on the fifth annual ASC17 Asia Student Supercomputer challenge started to hit El Reg, we noticed a couple of comments that made me think that some of you out there are missing the point of these student cluster competitions. Here are a couple of them: “So the newcomers won because they had two more NVIDIA …
Dan Olds, 08 May 2017

Final day of world's biggest student cluster-wrestling compo

HPC Blog As a HPC cluster competition starts to wind down and deadlines are close, I like to do a video check in with the teams to see how they’re doing. Usually they’re either very relaxed or very nervous. The relaxed ones either know where they stand and whether they’re in or out of the competition for first place or one of the other …
Dan Olds, 08 May 2017

Student cluster-wrestlers face off in HPC battle: You and whose army? Um, China's

HPC Blog With 20 university teams, Asia Supercomputer Community 2017 is the largest student cluster competition in the world. So it’s only natural that this story, which will give you a chance to meet the teams via video, will be the longest student cluster competition story in history. In the videos, we’re talking to the kids on the …
Dan Olds, 05 May 2017

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