In this exclusive feature audio interview, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Engineer for Road Runner, Don Grice, discusses photonics technology, co-design, and Blue Gene with a pragmatic approach to exascale R&D.
Don addresses the following questions:
- Back in November, IBM talked about a breakthrough in allowing chips to communicate at faster speeds using pulses of light – and it was said that this photonics technology could boost processing capabilities to a million trillion calculations per second, an exaflop. Has there been any substantial progress in this area – and do you still think this could be a key factor in exascale development?
- What’s the timeframe we are looking at for this type of research – and are there implications beyond the quest for exascale?
- Can you tell us more about IBM’s exascale research labs?
- What is IBM’s view of Co-Design, an approach many have said is absolutely essential to achieving exascale computation, and are your teams involved in any co-design efforts related to exascale research?
- How is IBM organized around exascale? Where is the ownership?
- Where does Blue Gene fit in the exascale landscape?
- Community leaders have stated for quite some time that compilers would likely be a critical component to actually achieving exascale levels of computation. What is your position on this today – is there anything you can share with our readers regarding compiler research with an eye to exascale?
- At what point do you see Cloud Computing playing a role in exascale computing? Do you see their paths converging?
This interview was recorded live at ISC’11 and appears here with permission of The Exascale Report. Check out their latest issue with features on Exascale Co-design, interviews, and more. Download the MP3.