New Cache Coherent Interconnect Takes Aim at Datacenter Accelerators

By Michael Feldman, Managing Editor; If you happen to think there aren’t enough interconnect standards for accelerators in the world, then you’ll be happy to know that one more has been added to the heap. The new technology, known as the Cache Coherent Interconnect for Acceleration (CCIX), is being crafted as an open standard and aims to provide a high performance, cache coherent data link between processor hosts and coprocessor accelerators.

Google’s Homegrown Machine Learning Accelerator Could Pose Threat to Chipmakers

By Michael Feldman, Managing Editor; Last week at the Google I/O conference, it was revealed the search giant has been using its own custom-built ASIC to accelerate the machine learning capabilities that now underlies much of the Google cloud. The microprocessor, known as the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), was designed by Google engineers to speed up the TensorFlow software that the company uses to drive much of its machine learning functionality. According to the company, TPUs have been churning away in their production datacenters for about a year, unbeknownst to its users.

Cray Unveils Ambidextrous Appliance for Data Analytics

By Michael Feldman, Managing Editor; Supercomputer-maker Cray has introduced Urika-GX, the company’s newest version of its enterprise-focused data analytics product line. With an emphasis on agility, the system merges the functionality of the existing Urika-GD and Urika-XA appliances, which provide platforms for graph-based and Spark/Hadoop-based analytics, respectively. Urika-GX wraps both of these capabilites into a single box, and does so largely with standard hardware and software.

India Unveils Plans for New Homegrown Supercomputers

The Times of India is reporting that the country will begin building a new series of domestically produced supercomputers, the first of which will be installed in August of 2017. The Rs 4,500-crore (about $670 million) project is being managed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

Supercomputing Grid Takes Aim at Zika Virus

The World Community Grid (WCG) has been recruited to tackle the Zika virus, one of the fastest-spreading and most dangerous viruses in recent memory. The project, known as OpenZika, will use WCG computing resources to identify candidate drugs that exhibit anti-viral properties against the Zika organism.

The Four-Way Race to Exascale

By Michael Feldman, Managing Editor; Until fairly recently, Japan was the only country in the world with a definitive roadmap to its first exascale supercomputer. But over the last three months, specific plans for exascale systems in China, France, and the US have been revealed. If those schedules hold, between 2020 and 2023, all four countries will stand up their first exascale machines. The race to the next supercomputing milestone is finally starting to take shape.

List Highlights

This Week in HPC

DDN Enters All-Flash Arena and IBM Demos Advanced Phase-Change Memory

Addison and Michael analyze the week's big HPC news.