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Paving the Way for Theta and Aurora

In this special guest feature, John Kirkley writes that Argonne is already building code for their future Theta and Aurora supercomputers based on Intel Knights Landing. “One of the ALCF’s primary tasks is to help prepare key applications for two advanced supercomputers. One is the 8.5-petaflops Theta system based on the upcoming Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor, code-named Knights Landing (KNL) and due for deployment this year. The other is a larger 180-petaflops Aurora supercomputer scheduled for 2018 using Intel Xeon Phi processors, code-named Knights Hill. A key goal is to solidify libraries and other essential elements, such as compilers and debuggers that support the systems’ current and future production applications.”

Creating an Exascale Ecosystem Under the NSCI Banner

“We expect NCSI to run for the next two decades. It’s a bit audacious to start a 20 year project in the last 18 months of an administration, but one of the things that gives us momentum is that we are not starting from a clean sheet of paper. There are many government agencies already involved and what we’re really doing is increasing their coordination and collaboration. Also we will be working very hard over the next 18 months to build momentum and establish new working relationships with academia and industry.”

The Death and Life of Traditional HPC

The consensus of the panel was that making full use of Intel SSF requires system thinking at the highest level. This entails deep collaboration with the company’s application end-user customers as well as with its OEM partners, who have to design, build and support these systems at the customer site. Mark Seager commented: “For the high-end we’re going after density and (solving) the power problem to create very dense solutions that, in many cases, are water-cooled going forward. We are also asking how can we do a less dense design where cost is more of a driver.” In the latter case, lower end solutions can relinquish some scalability features while still retaining application efficiency.

PSC’s Bridges Supercomputer Brings HPC to a New Class of Users

The democratization of HPC got a major boost last year with the announcement of an NSF award to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. The $9.65 million grant for the development of Bridges, a new supercomputer designed to serve a wide variety of scientists, will open the door to users who have not had access to HPC until now. “Bridges is designed to close three important gaps: bringing HPC to new communities, merging HPC with Big Data, and integrating national cyberinfrastructure with campus resources. To do that, we developed a unique architecture featuring Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) large-memory servers including HPE Integrity Superdome X, HPE ProLiant DL580, and HPE Apollo 2000. Bridges is interconnected by Intel Omni-Path Architecture fabric, deployed in a custom topology for Bridges’ anticipated workloads.”

HPC Fuels Manufacturing Rebirth

After a long dry spell triggered in part by the global downturn in the economy, manufacturing is enjoying an economic and technological resurgence. According to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), American manufacturing continues to improve.

NASA’s Rupak Biswas Investigates the Weird World of Quantum Computing

In this special feature, John Kirkley talks with Dr. Biswas to learn more about NASA’s fledgling involvement in the weird world of quantum computing.

Obama Initiative Leverages Big Data to Explore the Brain

This week President Obama announced a research initiative that has the ambitious goal of “revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain,” according to a White House press release. Know as BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), the initiative is being launched in FY 2014 with an initial budget of about $100 million, a modest […]

Blue Waters Ready to Handle Floods of Data

Big Data requires big computing, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is doing its part with the launch of Blue Waters, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. U of I held an open house a couple of weeks ago, inviting one and all to visit its National Petascale Computing Facility and kick the tires […]

Think of This: Most of the World’s Data is Unanalyzed

The idea that we use only 10 percent or less of our brain is one of those persistent myths that stubbornly refuses to go away. In reality, that bit of gelatinous grey matter between our ears has been extensively mapped and it appears that most of it has a function. So the notion that if […]