SC16 Shines a Light on Gender Diversity in HPC

In a year in which a woman has a good chance of becoming the leader of the free world, talk of gender diversity has become pervasive. Even in the secluded confines of the HPC community, discussions of the underrepresentation of women in supercomputing has become a real topic, and at no time has this become more apparent than in the run-up to SC16.

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News

Jülich Supercomputing Centre Deploys Cray and IBM Systems for Human Brain Project

The Jülich Supercomputing Centre has installed a couple of HPC systems to support neuroscience applications as part of special EU-funded procurement for the European Human Brain Project (HBP). The two machines, JURON, from IBM, and JULIA, from Cray, are pilot systems that will be used evaluate technologies and architecture for a much larger HBP supercomputer down the line.

D-Wave Sets Stage for 2000-Qubit Quantum Computer

Quantum computing pioneer D-Wave Systems has announced some details of a new 2000-qubit system it has developed. The processor that drives the system will contain twice the number of qubits that powers the current D-Wave 2X system, which was announced last year. The new hardware also includes additional control features that enables users to tune the quantum computations to arrive at a faster result and to explore the solution space more fully.

IBM Finds Killer App for TrueNorth Neuromorphic Chip

TrueNorth, IBM’s brain-like microprocessor, has been found to be exceptionally proficient at inference work for deep neural networks. In particular, the chip has demonstrated it’s especially good at image recognition, being able accurately classify such data much more efficiently, from an energy perspective, than traditional processor architectures, suggesting new applications in mobile computing, IoT, robotics, autonomous cars, and HPC.

British AI Startup Buys GPU Supercomputer

BenevolentAI, a London-based artificial intelligence company specializing in health and bioscience applications, has acquired NVIDIA’s DGX-1, a deep learning system accelerated by eight Tesla P100 GPUs. The company plans to use the $129,000 machine to advance its work in drug discovery and related biomedical research.

Machine Learning Proves Faster Than Quantum Mechanical Calculations in Discovery of New Compounds

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have used machine learning to predict the thermodynamic characteristics of 90 new mineral compounds with potential commercial use. The machine learning models were able to predict the chemical stability of all possible iterations of a particular type of class of crystals several orders of magnitude faster than if the researchers had relied on quantum mechanical calculations.

TACC Flips the Switch on Solar-Powered Supercomputer

The Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin has installed the world’s largest solar-powered HPC system. The 400 teraflop supercomputer, known as Hikari, is an HPE Apollo 800 cluster that uses technology supplied by Japanese green energy specialist NTT FACILITIES. In addition to taking advantage of Austin’s abundant sunshine, the power setup also employs high voltage direct power (HVDC) to further reduce energy consumption.

Talking Machines Just Took a Big Step Forward

In these days of Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Now, AI-based speech generation has become a commonplace technology in everyday life.  But when machines talk to us, it’s still obvious that we are listening to a computer, and not a human voice.  Thanks to new machine learning technology from Alphabet's DeepMind, that may soon change.

Exascale Computing Project Turns On Application Development

Last week the US DOE awarded $39.8 million worth of funding for more than a dozen application development projects aimed at exascale computing. A total of 15 proposals were funded, with an additional 7 receiving seed funding. The awards represent the first significant sum of federal money directed at developing exascale applications in the US. More News

In Depth

NVIDIA Expands Machine Learning Footprint in Europe, Previews First Volta GPU

At NVIDIA’s first European GPU Technology Conference (GTC Europe) taking place in Amsterdam this week, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced a number of new users of the DGX-1 GPU-powered “supercomputer in a box.” Huang also teased attendees with an early look at one of their next-generation Volta GPUs designed to power self-driving cars.

Microsoft Goes All in for FPGAs to Build Out AI Cloud

Microsoft has revealed that Altera FPGAs have been installed across every Azure cloud server, creating what the company is calling “the world’s first AI supercomputer.” The deployment spans 15 countries and represents an aggregate performance of more than one exa-op. The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and engineer Doug Burger during the opening keynote at the Ignite Conference in Atlanta.

Getting Exascale Right, Not First

The path to exascale computing hasn’t been an easy one. It has had to face a daunting set of challenges in energy efficiency, application parallelism, and system reliability, just to name a few.  The difficulties in bringing the hardware and software up to this level is considerable, but there is a more fundamental challenge at the heart of exascale: doing the necessary work of building an ecosystem that will last for a decade or more, not just for a handful stunt machines.

Aquila Takes Wraps Off Liquid-Cooled HPC Server

Aquila, a system provider based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has unveiled a new liquid-cooled server platform that offers one of the densest and most energy-efficient architectures in the market. The platform, known as Aquarius, uses a patented warm water cooling technology along with rack-level power distribution to minimize energy consumption and allow for very high levels of computational density.

More In Depth News

This Week in HPC

IBM Edge Conference in Las Vegas and HPC Advisory Council in Spain

Episode 141: Addison Snell reviews the big stories from some of the week's HPC conferences.

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Top 10

1
Sunway TaihuLight - Sunway MPP, Sunway SW26010 260C 1.45GHz, Sunway
NRCPC
2
Tianhe-2 (MilkyWay-2) - TH-IVB-FEP Cluster, Intel Xeon E5-2692 12C 2.200GHz, TH Express-2, Intel Xeon Phi 31S1P
NUDT
3
Titan - Cray XK7 , Opteron 6274 16C 2.200GHz, Cray Gemini interconnect, NVIDIA K20x
Cray Inc.
4
Sequoia - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60 GHz, Custom
IBM
5
K computer, SPARC64 VIIIfx 2.0GHz, Tofu interconnect
Fujitsu
6
Mira - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom
IBM
7
Trinity - Cray XC40, Xeon E5-2698v3 16C 2.3GHz, Aries interconnect
Cray Inc.
8
Piz Daint - Cray XC30, Xeon E5-2670 8C 2.600GHz, Aries interconnect , NVIDIA K20x
Cray Inc.
9
Hazel Hen - Cray XC40, Xeon E5-2680v3 12C 2.5GHz, Aries interconnect
Cray Inc.
10
Shaheen II - Cray XC40, Xeon E5-2698v3 16C 2.3GHz, Aries interconnect
Cray Inc.