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Peta-Exa-Zetta: Robert Wisniewski and the Growth of Compute Power

While much noise is being made about the race to exascale, building productive supercomputers really comes down to people and ingenuity. In this special guest feature, Donna Loveland profiles supercomputer architect Robert Wisniewski from Intel. “In combining the threading and memory challenges, there’s an increased need for the hardware to perform synchronization operations, especially intranode ones, efficiently. With more threads utilizing less memory with wider parallelism, it becomes important that they synchronize among themselves efficiently and have access to efficient atomic memory operations. Applications also need to be vectorized to take advantage of the wider FPUs on the chip. While much of the vectorization can be done by compilers, application developers can follow design patterns that aid the compiler’s task.”

X-Stack PI Meeting Showcases Exascale Code

Berkeley Lab recently hosted the fourth annual X-Stack PI event, where X-Stack researchers, facilities teams, application scientists, and developers from national labs, universities, and industry met to share the latest developments in X-Stack application codes. “X-Stack was launched in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program to support the development of exascale software tools, including programming languages and libraries, compilers and runtime systems, that will help programmers handle massive parallelism, data movement, heterogeneity and failures as the scientific community transitions to the next generation of extreme-scale supercomputers.”

Spectra Logic Rolls Out World’s Largest Capacity Tape Library

Today Spectra Logic announced the Spectra TFinity ExaScale Edition, the world’s largest and most richly-featured tape storage system. “Since 2008, Spectra Logic has worked with engineers in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley, first deploying a Spectra tape library with 22 petabytes of capacity. According to NASA, the Spectra tape library’s capacity has grown to approximately one half an Exabyte of archival storage today. After extensive testing over the past year, NASA recently deployed a Spectra TFinity ExaScale Edition in their 24×7 production HPC environment.”

Slidecast: Advantages of Offloading Architectures for HPC

In this slidecast, Gilad Shainer from Mellanox describes the advantages of InfiniBand and the company’s off-loading network architecture for HPC. “The path to Exascale computing is clearly paved with Co-Design architecture. By using a Co-Design approach, the network infrastructure becomes more intelligent, which reduces the overhead on the CPU and streamlines the process of passing data throughout the network. A smart network is the only way that HPC data centers can deal with the massive demands to scale, to deliver constant performance improvements, and to handle exponential data growth.”

Distinguished Speaker Series Coming to ISC 2016

Today ISC 2016 announced that five renowned experts in computational science will participate in their new Distinguished Speaker series. Topics will include exascale computing efforts in the US, the next supercomputers in development in Japan and China, cognitive computing advancements at IBM, and quantum computing research at NASA.

NSCI Update from the HPC User Forum

In this video from the HPC User Forum in Tucson, Saul Gonzalez Martirena from NSF provides an update on the NSCI initiative. “As a coordinated research, development, and deployment strategy, NSCI will draw on the strengths of departments and agencies to move the Federal government into a position that sharpens, develops, and streamlines a wide range of new 21st century applications. It is designed to advance core technologies to solve difficult computational problems and foster increased use of the new capabilities in the public and private sectors.”

Atos Rolls Out Bull sequana “The World’s Most Efficient Supercomputer”

“Atos is one out of three or four worldwide players having the expertise and know-how to build supercomputers today – and the only one in Europe. It is a source of pride for our company and provides a unique competitive advantage for our clients. With Atos’ Bull sequana astounding compute performance, businesses can now more efficiently maximize the value of data on a daily basis. By 2020, Bull sequana will reach exaflops level and will be able to process a billion billion operations per second.” says Atos Chairman and CEO Thierry Breton.

Video: Seagate Exascale HPC Storage

“Traditionally, storage have been using brute force rather than intelligent design to deliver the required throughputs but the current trend is to design balanced systems with full utilization of the back-end storage and other related components. These new systems need to use fine grained power control all the way down to individual disk drives as well as tools for continuous monitoring and management of these systems. In addition, the storage solutions of tomorrow needs to support multiple tiers including backend archiving systems supported by HSM as well multiple file systems if required. This presentation is intended to provide a short update of where Seagate HPC storage is today.”

Panel Discussion on Exascale Computing

In this video from the 2016 HPC Advisory Council Switzerland Conference, Addison Snell from Intersect360 Research moderates a panel discussion on Exascale computing. “Exascale computing will uniquely provide knowledge leading to transformative advances for our economy, security and society in general. A failure to proceed with appropriate speed risks losing competitiveness in information technology, in our industrial base writ large, and in leading-edge science.”

How Intel Worked with the DEEP Consortium to Challenge Amdahl’s Law

Funded by the European Commission in 2011, the DEEP project was the brainchild of scientists and researchers at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) in Germany. The basic idea is to overcome the limitations of standard HPC systems by building a new type of heterogeneous architecture. One that could dynamically divide less parallel and highly parallel parts of a workload between a general-purpose Cluster and a Booster—an autonomous cluster with Intel® Xeon Phi™ processors designed to dramatically improve performance of highly parallel code.