NVIDIA used the opening of the ISC High Performance conference (ISC) on Monday to launch its first Pascal GPU targeted to high performance computing. The announcement follows on the heels of the introduction of the Pascal P100 at the GPU Technology Conference in April, a device which was aimed at the deep learning market. The new HPC GPU, however, differs from its deep learning sibling in some surprising ways.
FRANKFURT, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—China maintained its No. 1 ranking on the 47th edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers, but with a new system built entirely using processors designed and made in China. Sunway TaihuLight is the new No. 1 system with 93 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the LINPACK benchmark.
Things do go wrong. I was recently on a train journey from Liverpool to London. Normally a two-hour direct service, a flooded line resulted in a five-hour excursion, by which time the meeting had finished without me. At the time, with frequent information announcements, passable WiFi (paid), free drinks proactively distributed (water only), food available (paid), and most importantly, electricity sockets, the five hours passed with less distress than I might have expected in hindsight. The lesson is that when things go wrong, what matters is how they are dealt with.
Chipmaker Cavium is plopping down a cool billion, and then some, to acquire QLogic, a networking and storage specialist. With the deal, Cavium is hoping to expand its footprint in the datacenter and fill in certain holes in its portfolio.
Just as Intel’s newly minted Omni-Path interconnect is challenging InfiniBand for supremacy in the HPC datacenter, Mellanox is ramping up its 100G product line. The latest addition is ConnectX-5, the company’s newest adapter, which will offer MPI offloading under the banner of co-design. The new network device will come in InfiniBand and Ethernet flavors and will also include additional capabilities and performance tweaks on top of 100G speeds.
Mexico City’s suburbs don't exactly conjure up images of New York’s financial district, but one young trader is looking to close that gap. Alberto Alonso, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, has created a supercomputing system that does the type of algorithmic trading more commonly associated with those on Wall Street. A story on Bloomberg’s news site describes how Alonso came to build his machine, and why he believes the algorithm he developed will be able “mint money” once the system goes into full production.
OpenACC, the accelerator standards body, announced some new developments this week that should make GPU computing aficionados happy. Perhaps the most significant news is that a new OpenACC-supported compiler, which will support Power-based HPC clusters equipped with NVIDIA’s Tesla GPUs, is nearing its commercial release. The compiler, which is under development by the Portland Group (PGI), is undergoing testing now with some well-connected customers, and will be released as a public beta in August.
India’s weather bureau will soon have petascale power at its disposal, courtesy of a new $60 million supercomputer that’s in the works. According to a report by Reuters, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is currently using an older system supplied by IBM, which can only provide forecasts at a national and regional level. The new system is anticipated to be 10 times as fast, and will have the power to provide specific forecasts for India’s 29 states.