In Depth News

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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.

Supercomputing Centers Have Become Showcases for Competing HPC Technologies

Even though there wasn’t much turnover in the latest TOP500 list, a number of new petascale supercomputers appeared that reflect a number of interesting trends in the way HPC architectures are evolving. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll focus on three of these new systems: Stampede2, TBUBAME 3.0, and MareNostrum 4.

AMD Challenges Intel’s Datacenter Dominance with New EPYC Processors

For the first time in several years, AMD has brought a server chip to market that provides some real competition to Intel and its near total domination of the datacenter market. The new AMD silicon, known as the EPYC 7000 series processors, come with up to 32 cores, along with a number of features that offer some useful differentiation against its Xeon competition.

New MareNostrum Supercomputer Reflects Processor Choices Confronting HPC Users

The fourth-generation MareNostrum supercomputer is up and running at the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre (BSC), or at last the first phase of it is.  When completed, it will contain the most interesting medley of processors of any supercomputer in existence. We asked Sergi Girona, Director of Operations at BSC, to describe the makeup of the new system and explain the rationale for building such a diverse machine.

Swiss Deploy World’s Fastest GPU-Powered Supercomputer

The recent upgrade to the Piz Daint supercomputer at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), has thrust the machine into limelight here at the ISC High Performance conference on opening day. The Cray XC50 system turned in a Linpack result of 19.6 petaflops, which was good enough to capture the number three spot on the latest TOP500 list, and displace Titan, the former GPU supercomputing champ, running at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Lustre Architect Peter Braam Talks About His Latest Venture

In 1999, Peter Braam introduced Lustre, an open-source parallel file system which went on to become one the most popular software packages for supercomputing. Braam’s success with Lustre was just the start of a career in which he founded five companies and guided technology development in numerous others -- Sun Microsystem, Red Hat, and Xyratex, among them. He’s currently working with Cambridge University on the Square Kilometer Array project and its Science Data Processor effort.