NVIDIA had a trio of announcements at this week’s supercomputing conference (SC16), all of which revolved around the company’s activities in artificial intelligence. Although the it was certainly not the only company touting its devotion to AI at this year’s event, NVIDIA seems to have a singular focus on the topic these days.
Just as the choice of processors architectures in supercomputing is expanding with GPUs, FPGAs, ARM and Power, memory is beginning to diversify as well. Novel technologies like 3D XPoint, resistive RAM/memristors, and 3D memory stacks are already starting to work their way into the hands of HPC users. At SC16 this week in Salt Lake City, one of the Friday panels, “The Future of Memory Technology for Exascale and Beyond IV,” will delve into this subject more deeply.
IT soul mates IBM and NVIDIA are at it again, this time collaborating on a deep learning (DL) toolkit, known as PowerAI, optimized for IBM’s Power S822LC for High Performance Computing platform. The integration of the toolkit and the IBM hardware is being aimed at what NVIDIA and IBM believe to be a burgeoning market in enterprise AI.
Cray has launched the XC50, the latest iteration of its XC supercomputer line. The big change from the XC40 is the additional support for the new NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, as well as the latest Xeon and Xeon Phi processors from Intel. Thanks to the more powerful silicon, the XC50 can scale to 500 petaflops.
FRANKFURT, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— The 48th edition of the TOP500 list saw China and United States pacing each other for supercomputing supremacy. Both nations now claim 171 systems apiece in the latest rankings, accounting for two-thirds of the list. However, China has maintained its dominance at the top of the list with the same number 1 and 2 systems from six months ago: Sunway TaihuLight, at 93 petaflops, and Tianhe-2, at 34 petaflops. This latest edition of the TOP500 was announced Monday, November 14, at the SC16 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The rollout of 200 Gbps networking began in earnest this week with Mellanox’s unveiling of its initial HDR InfiniBand portfolio of Quantum switches, ConnectX-6 adapters, and LinkX cables. Although none of the products will be available until 2017, the imminent move to 200 Gbps is set to leapfrog the competition, in particular, Intel, with its current 100 Gbps Omni-Path technology.
The prospect of FPGA-powered supercomputing has never looked brighter. The availability of more performant chips, the maturation of the OpenCL toolchain, the acquisition of Altera by Intel, and the world’s largest deployment of FPGAs in the datacenter by Microsoft, suggest that reconfigurable computing may finally fulfill its promise as a major technology for high performance computing.
The US DoD has purchased three supercomputers under its High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP). Collectively the new systems, one from Cray and two from SGI, will provide an additional 10 petaflops of computational power to the agency, bringing HPCMP’s aggregate total to 31.1 petaflops.