In Depth News

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EXTOLL's Network Marches to the Beat of a Different Drummer

Network latency and bandwidth often turn out to be choke points on application performance for many HPC codes. As a result, the network component for HPC systems has successfully resisted the trend toward general-purpose solutions, Ethernet notwithstanding. Such an environment is conducive to greater innovation and experimentation, as is exemplified in EXTOLL’s network technology

Silicon Valley: “Trump Would Be a Disaster for Innovation”

More than a hundred high-profile leaders from Silicon Valley and the broader IT community have published an open letter warning voters that a Donald Trump presidency would be a catastrophe for American technology leadership. The letter was signed by 145 inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the US technology sector.

A Dive into DEEP-ER, Exascale Research with a Distinctly European Flair

The European Union is funding a number of HPC projects that are exploring different hardware and software technologies for exascale computing. One of these, known as DEEP-ER, expands on the notion of the “Cluster-Booster” architecture of its predecessor, the DEEP project. Using a mix of European HPC technologies from German, Italy and elsewhere, DEEP-ER is exploring some of the thornier issues of exascale, in particular, I/O scalability and system resiliency.

With the Right Software, PCs Can Outdistance Supercomputers

In an industry as forward-leaning as high performance computing, the focus on exascale and buying machines with the maximum amount of FLOPS hardware can be a distraction. The average HPC user is just looking to find the best performance possible for their applications with the hardware at hand. And in more cases than we would like to think, sometimes that hardware is just a personal computer.

Using Intel’s Xeon Phi for Brain Research Visualization

The well-worn adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true when communicating the importance, content, and yes, the beauty that is uncovered as researchers explore how the brain works. Given that humans are wired to understand images faster and better than other forms of communication, brain research highlights the importance of scientific visualization

Watson Spawns Digitized Legal Assistant

If ROSS was an actual human, he would certainly be the highest paid legal assistant in history. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of legal texts, and devours new ones quickly and effortlessly. Better yet, he can work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and requires no office supplies, health insurance or retirement programs. Yes, ROSS is a computer program and his designation as a male is just one of convenience.

Down to the Wire for Moore’s Law

One of the most popular sessions at last week’s ISC High Performance conference was titled "Scaling Beyond the End of Moore’s Law," which was a series of three talks that delved into some of the technology options that could reanimate computing after CMOS hits the wall sometime in the next decade. The subject’s popularity is unsurprising, given that the supercomputing digerati that attend this event are probably more obsessed with Moore’s two-year cadence of transistor shrinkage than any other group of people on the planet.

Fujitsu Switches Horses for Post-K Supercomputer, Will Ride ARM into Exascale

ARM has been something of stealth architecture in the battle to unseat the x86 as the dominant platform for high performance computing systems. That lower profile changed this week at the ISC 2016 conference, where Fujitsu announced it would develop an ARM processor for its Post-K exascale supercomputer. But the effort promises to have much a wider impact on the HPC landscape than just a single system.

Intel Takes on NVIDIA with Knights Landing Launch

Intel’s much-awaited Knights Landing Xeon Phi processor is now being shipped in volume to OEMs and other system providers, who will soon be churning out HPC gear equipped with the new chip. And if there was any doubt, Intel made it clear that with Knights Landing, it would be going after the same set of HPC and deep learning customers that NVIDIA has been successfully courting with its Tesla GPU portfolio. The official launch of the new processor was announced at the ISC High Performance conference (ISC), which is taking place this week in Frankfurt.

China Tops Supercomputer Rankings with New 93-Petaflop Machine

A new Chinese supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, captured the number one spot on the latest TOP500 list of supercomputers released on Monday morning at the ISC High Performance conference (ISC) being held in Frankfurt, Germany.  With a Linpack mark of 93 petaflops, the system outperforms the former TOP500 champ, Tianhe-2, by a factor of three. The machine is powered by a new ShenWei processor and custom interconnect, both of which were developed locally, ending any remaining speculation that China would have to rely on Western technology to compete effectively in the upper echelons of supercomputing.