“Our computing systems continue to evolve, providing significant challenges to the programming teams managing large, long-lived projects. Issues include rapidly increasing on-node parallelism, varying forms of heterogeneity, deepening memory hierarchies, growing concerns around resiliency and silent data corruption, and worsening storage bottlenecks.”
“Rapid growth in the use cases and demands for extreme computing and huge data processing is leading to convergence of the two infrastructures. The trend towards convergence is not only strategic however but rather inevitable as the Moore’s law ends such that sustained growth in data capabilities, not compute, will advance the capacity and thus the overall capacities towards accelerating research and ultimately the industry.”
“The highly parallel molecular dynamics code NAMD was was one of the first codes to run on a GPU cluster when G80 and CUDA were introduced in 2007, and is now used to perform petascale biomolecular simulations, including a 64-million-atom model of the HIV virus capsid, on the GPU-accelerated Cray XK7 Blue Waters and ORNL Titan machines.”
“The mathematics involved in simulating these events is very sophisticated because one has to solve the equations of Einstein’s general relativity and magneto-hydrodynamics all together. The problem also requires very advanced supercomputers running programs on tens of thousands of CPUs simultaneously, and the use of sophisticated techniques for data extraction and visualization. Petascale numerical simulation is therefore the only tool available to accurately model these systems.”
“The largest high-redshift cosmological simulation of galaxy formation ever has been recently completed by a group of astrophysicists (Drs. Feng, Di-Matteo, Croft, Bird, and Battaglia) from the U.S. and the U.K. This tour-de-force simulation was performed on the Blue Waters Cray XE/XK system at NCSA and employed 648,000 cores. They utilized approximately 700 billion particles (!) to represent dark matter and ordinary matter and to create virtual galaxies inside the supercomputer. The authors, who represent Carnegie Mellon University, UC Berkeley, Princeton University, and the University of Sussex, have given their simulation the moniker BlueTides.”
The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), using the power of the petascale Blue Waters Supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has developed a physics-based model called CyberShake that simulates how an earthquake works rather than approximating the tremors based on observations.