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Microsoft Boosts HPC Cloud Aspirations with Acquisition of Cycle Computing

Microsoft has bought Cycle Computing, an established provider of cloud orchestration tools for high performance computing users. The acquisition offers the prospect of tighter integration between Microsoft Azure’s infrastructure and Cycle’s software, but suggests an uncertain future for the technology on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google’s cloud platform.

Startup Aims to Ease the Pain of Developing Machine Learning Applications

One of the biggest impediments to more widespread use of AI is the lack of developer expertise in machine learning software.  Bonsai, a startup based in Berkeley, California, is looking to change that in a big way by offering a platform that abstracts away a lot of the low-level nuts and bolts that makes machine learning such a daunting challenge for businesses.

IBM Pushes Envelope in Deep Learning Scalability

This week IBM demonstrated software that was able to significantly boost the speed of training deep neural networks, while improving the accuracy of those networks. The software achieved this by dramatically increasing the scalability of these training applications across large number of GPUs.

China Puts Forth Plan to Become World Leader in Artificial Intelligence

The Chinese government has released a three-phase plan to become the world leader in artificial intelligence. According to a document published by the country’s State Council, the development and deployment of AI is seen as a strategic opportunity to the country, and will be worth 10 trillion yuan (1.49 trillion USD) to the nation’s economy by 2030.

With EPYC, AMD Offers Serious Competition to Intel in HPC

While a number of commentators have written off AMD’s prospects of competing against Intel in HPC, testing of the latest server silicon from each chipmaker has revealed that the EPYC chip offers some surprising performance advantages against Intel’s newest "Skylake" Xeon destined for the datacenter. 

Financial Analyst Takes Critical Look at IBM Watson

A report published by James Kisner, an equity analyst at global investment banking firm Jeffries, shot a few holes in IBM’s Watson and the company’s cognitive computing strategy. Along the way, Kisner offered some interesting insights into the AI market and some of the major players competing in the space.

Intel Forges New Xeon Line Under Scalable Processor Banner

After already shipping more than half a million of its next-generation Xeon products to customers, Intel officially launched its new Xeon scalable processor product line. The chipmaker is calling it the “biggest data center advancement in a decade.”

Fujitsu Will Pursue AI with Custom-Built Processor

Japanese computer-maker Fujitsu is developing an AI-specific microprocessor called the Deep Learning Unit (DLU). The company’s goal is to produce a chip that delivers 10 times better performance per watt than the competition.

TOP500 Meanderings: Sluggish Performance Growth May Portend Slowing HPC Market

For all the supercomputing trends revealed on recent TOP500 lists, the most worrisome is the decline in performance growth that has taken place over the over the last several years – worrisome not only because performance is the lifeblood of the HPC industry, but also because there is no definitive cause of the slowdown.

Europe Sets Exascale Supercomputing Goal Amid Divisions on How to Achieve It

In March, ministers from seven of the largest European countries signed a declaration that established a timeline for fielding two exascale supercomputers in 2022. The agreement also specified that at least one of these systems will be based on European technology, although, as it turns out, not everyone seems to think this is the best way forward.