Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, the country’s first organization to do so. In conjunction with its new membership, NCI has purchased an IBM Power8 cluster, which will be used to run a range of compute-demanding analytics and simulation workloads.
As the year draws to close, TOP500 News looks back at some of the most prominent trends of the past 12 months in the world of high performance computing. From machine learning to new processors to exascale, there were plenty of topics to hold our attention in 2016. Here are this year’s top five hits and misses:
Cray’s recent announcement about how its XC50 supercomputer plus Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit was used to scale up training of a neural network serves as a proof point on how topflight HPC technologies can be used to push the boundaries of deep learning. But the company’s long game is to bring supercomputing into the realm of deep learning and the broader category of data analytics in a more generalized fashion.
ARM Limited has purchased Allinea Software, a maker of application development tools for high performance computing, for an undisclosed sum of money. The acquisition gives ARM a leg up in expanding its reach into the HPC ecosystem.
AMD has announced Radeon Instinct, a new line of GPUs aimed at accelerating machine learning applications in the datacenter. Designed to go up against the best NVIDIA can offer, the Instinct products deliver lots of performance and a number of high-end features. The products were unveiled at AMD Technology Summit, which took place last week.
The US Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has changed its timeline for getting the first post-petascale system into the field. The new goal is to get an initial exascale system deployed sometime in 2021, with acceptance nine months after that. That shrinks the schedule significantly and puts the country back on a more competitive trajectory with regard to China and Japan.
For anyone that hasn’t been hiding under a rock for the last few years, it’s become abundantly clear that the largest IT firms on the planet are moving quickly to build up their capabilities in artificial intelligence. But the largest of them all, Apple Inc., has been the least public about its plans. A revelation about a closed-door meeting in Europe suggests that might change.