In Depth News

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SC16 Shines a Light on Gender Diversity in HPC

In a year in which a woman has a good chance of becoming the leader of the free world, talk of gender diversity has become pervasive. Even in the secluded confines of the HPC community, discussions of the underrepresentation of women in supercomputing has become a real topic, and at no time has this become more apparent than in the run-up to SC16.

NVIDIA Expands Machine Learning Footprint in Europe, Previews First Volta GPU

At NVIDIA’s first European GPU Technology Conference (GTC Europe) taking place in Amsterdam this week, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced a number of new users of the DGX-1 GPU-powered “supercomputer in a box.” Huang also teased attendees with an early look at one of their next-generation Volta GPUs designed to power self-driving cars.

Microsoft Goes All in for FPGAs to Build Out AI Cloud

Microsoft has revealed that Altera FPGAs have been installed across every Azure cloud server, creating what the company is calling “the world’s first AI supercomputer.” The deployment spans 15 countries and represents an aggregate performance of more than one exa-op. The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and engineer Doug Burger during the opening keynote at the Ignite Conference in Atlanta.

Getting Exascale Right, Not First

The path to exascale computing hasn’t been an easy one. It has had to face a daunting set of challenges in energy efficiency, application parallelism, and system reliability, just to name a few.  The difficulties in bringing the hardware and software up to this level is considerable, but there is a more fundamental challenge at the heart of exascale: doing the necessary work of building an ecosystem that will last for a decade or more, not just for a handful stunt machines.

Aquila Takes Wraps Off Liquid-Cooled HPC Server

Aquila, a system provider based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has unveiled a new liquid-cooled server platform that offers one of the densest and most energy-efficient architectures in the market. The platform, known as Aquarius, uses a patented warm water cooling technology along with rack-level power distribution to minimize energy consumption and allow for very high levels of computational density.

NVIDIA Bolsters Deep Learning Portfolio with New Pascal GPUs

NVIDIA has unveiled the Tesla P4 and P40, two new GPUs aimed at the very latest AI machinery. The processors are based on the company’s Pascal architecture and incorporate new features aimed at deep learning inferencing work in areas like image and speech recognition, language translation, and recommendation engines. The announcement was made at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference taking place in Beijing, China this week. 

IBM Raises Performance Bar with New Dual-CPU/Quad-GPU Server

IBM has unveiled what is probably the most powerful server the company has ever offered and one of the most computationally dense on the planet. The new S822LC for High Performance Computing, as it is called, is equipped with two IBM Power8 processors and four of NVIDIA’s latest Tesla P100 GPUs. As such, IBM is first OEM to go to market with Pascal GPU-accelerated servers incorporating NVLink technology.

Google Forges Path to Quantum Computing

Over the years, there have been a torrent of “breakthroughs” in quantum computing research. But for the first time since in many years, the technology looks to be on the verge of fulfilling its promises. Thanks to an ambitious effort at Google, quantum computing may become a reality within the next two or three years. A report at the New Scientist unravels Googles plans to commercialize the technology and attain what the company is calling “quantum supremacy.”

Market for Artificial Intelligence Projected to Hit $36 Billion by 2025

A new report from market research firm Tractica forecasts that the annual global revenue for artificial intelligence products and services will grow from 643.7 million in 2016 to $36.8 billion by 2025, a 57-fold increase over that time period. As such, it represents the fastest growing segment of any size in the IT sector.

IBM Ups Its Game with the Power9 Processor

IBM is looking to take a bigger slice out of Intel’s lucrative server business with Power9, the company’s latest and greatest processor for the datacenter. Scheduled for initial release in 2017, the Power9 promises more cores and a hefty performance boost compared to its Power8 predecessor. The new chip was described at the Hot Chips event, which took place in Silicon Valley this week.