Cray is going to build what will looks to be the world’s first ARM-based supercomputer. The system, known as “Isambard,” will be the basis of a new UK-based HPC service that will offer the machine as a platform to support scientific research and to evaluate ARM technologies for high performance computing. Installation of Isambard is scheduled to begin in March and be up and running before the end of the year.
The release date for AMD’s Zen-based “Naples” CPU is still a few months away, but details about the new high performance server chip are already leaking into the public domain. Some of these specs are available in a recent report published at WCCFtech. Although much remains to be revealed, Naples is shaping up to be the first credible Xeon competitor that Intel has encountered in several years.
Like many tech companies, IBM is starting the new year by making a few predictions. One of them has to do with a software concept they call a “macroscope,” a software technology that can be used to analyze the complexities of the physical world. IBM predicts that within five years, such technology will “help us understand the Earth’s complexity in infinite detail.”
In June 2016, China leapfrogged the HPC competition with its 93-petaflop Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer. Then in November it reached parity with the US on the TOP500 list in total number of systems and aggregate performance. But China’s supercomputing capabilities are in many respects still a work in progress.
As societies grapple with the initial deployments of artificial intelligence, governments are beginning to outline policy approaches to deal with the inevitable consequences – both positive and negative. In a report issued last month by President Obama’s executive office, the outgoing administration sets some broad public policy prescriptions on how the US government should respond to the disruption that AI is poised to bring to the economy.
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.
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.