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Podcast: PortHadoop Speeds Data Movement for Science

In this TACC Podcast, host Jorge Salazar interviews Xian-He Sun, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Computer Scientists working in his group are bridging the file system gap with a cross-platform Hadoop reader called PortHadoop, short for portable Hadoop. “We tested our PortHadoop-R strategy on Chameleon. In fact, the speedup is 15 times faster,” said Xian-He Sun. “It’s quite amazing.”

NASA Spins Up High Performance Computing Challenge

Today NASA announced a code-speedup contest called the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge (HPFCC). The competition will reward qualified contenders who can manipulate the agency’s FUN3D design software so it runs ten to 10,000 times faster on the Pleiades supercomputer without any decrease in accuracy. “This is the ultimate ‘geek’ dream assignment,” said Doug Rohn, director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP). “Helping NASA speed up its software to help advance our aviation research is a win-win for all.”

Engility Pursues NASA Advanced Computing Services Contract

Today Engility that the company will bring its world-class high performance computing capabilities to bear as it competes to win NASA’s Advanced Computing Services contract. “HPC is a strategic, enabling capability for NASA,” said Lynn Dugle, CEO of Engility. “Engility’s cadre of renowned computational scientists and HPC experts, coupled with our proven high performance data analytics solutions, will help increase NASA’s science and engineering capabilities.”

Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab to Install D-Wave 2000Q System

Today D-Wave Systems announced that Google, NASA, and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) have elected to upgrade to the new D-Wave 2000Q system. The upgraded system will support research on how quantum computing can be applied to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and difficult optimization problems. The new system will be the third generation of D-Wave technology installed at Ames,” said D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell. “We are pleased that Google, NASA, and USRA value the increased performance embodied in our latest generation of technology, the D-Wave 2000Q system, for their critical applications.”

Supercomputing Drone Aerodynamics

In this video, researchers at NASA Ames explore the aerodynamics of a popular example of a small, battery-powered drone, a modified DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter. “The Phantom relies on four whirring rotors to generate enough thrust to lift it and any payload it’s carrying off the ground. Simulations revealed the complex motions of air due to interactions between the vehicle’s rotors and X-shaped frame during flight. As an experiment, researchers added four more rotors to the vehicle to study the effect on the quadcopter’s performance. This configuration produced a nearly twofold increase in the amount of thrust.”

Video: How an Exoplanet Makes Waves

In this video, a new NASA supercomputer simulation depicts the planet and debris disk around the nearby star Beta Pictoris reveals that the planet’s motion drives spiral waves throughout the disk, a phenomenon that greatly increases collisions among the orbiting debris. Patterns in the collisions and the resulting dust appear to account for many observed features that previous research has been unable to fully explain.

Video: The Coming Quantum Computing Revolution

In this video, D-Wave Systems Founder Eric Ladizinsky presents: The Coming Quantum Computing Revolution. “Despite the incredible power of today’s supercomputers, there are many complex computing problems that can’t be addressed by conventional systems. Our need to better understand everything, from the universe to our own DNA, leads us to seek new approaches to answer the most difficult questions. While we are only at the beginning of this journey, quantum computing has the potential to help solve some of the most complex technical, commercial, scientific, and national defense problems that organizations face.”

NASA Optimizes Climate Impact Research with Cycle Computing

Today Cycle Computing announced its continued involvement in optimizing research spearheaded by NASA’s Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) and the University of Minnesota. Currently, a biomass measurement effort is underway in a coast-to-coast band of Sub-Saharan Africa. An over 10 million square kilometer region of Africa’s trees, a swath of acreage bigger than the entirety […]

Video: A NASA Perspective on El Niño

In this video, Steven Pawson discussed how NASA uses computer models to build up a complete three-dimensional picture of El Niño in the ocean and atmosphere. Pawson is an atmospheric scientist and the chief of the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

NASA Boosts Pleiades Supercomputer with Broadwell CPUs and LTO Tape

NASA Ames reports that SGI has completed an important upgrade to Pleiades supercomputer. “As of July 1, 2016, all of the remaining racks of Intel Xeon X5670 (Westmere) processors were removed from Pleiades to make room for an additional 14 Intel Xeon E5-2680v4 (Broadwell) racks, doubling the number of Broadwell nodes to 2,016 and increasing the system’s theoretical peak performance to 7.25 petaflops. Pleiades now has a total of 246,048 CPU cores across 161 racks containing four different Intel Xeon processor types, and provides users with more than 900 terabytes of memory.”