In Search Of: Radio Free HPC on the Hunt for the Aurora Supercomputer

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In this podcast, Henry goes on a shopping spree at Best Buy. His mom was moving into a new place, so he got her all-new electronics to the tune of $1624. Is Henry a good son or did he go cheap? We’ll find out.

In HPC news, Rich notes at the 6:49 minute mark that recent reports about the Aurora supercomputer were incorrect. While the Aurora system (slated for delivery at Argonne next year) has indeed gone missing from the DoE budget, according to Rick Borchelt from the DoE: “On the record, Aurora contract is not cancelled.” 

Meanwhile, Intel, the prime vendor on the Aurora contract, declined to comment. So where does that leave us?

Rich thinks the dropping of the Aurora system from the DoE budget is meaningful:

  • If the Aurora system is still very much alive, why was it not called out in the president’s budget?  Is it because it is changing significantly from what was originally announced and will now be modified (contract and architecture) to be an exascale system?
  • According to various documents, Argonne is scheduled to receive one of the first two exascale systems – in 2021 or 2023.
  • Rumor has it (and it may be in the budget details) that Argonne will receive the first exascale system in 2021 and Oak Ridge will follow with one in 2023.
  • Question: Would Argonne be receiving that first exascale system in addition to receiving the Aurora system in 2018? (with it up and running in 2019).
  • Question:  Does Argonne still expect delivery of the Aurora supercomputer in calendar year 2018?
  • Question:  AND, if the Aurora system “becomes” the first exascale system – would it still be Intel that handles the prime contract working with Cray to build the system?

Henry did some major unboxing after his Best Buy run.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin has been trying to keep up with the boom in cryptocurrency, which now has a market cap of something like $91 Billion dollars.
  • Dan is excited that Hitachi has stopped building its own mainframes but will supply IBM z Systems loaded with Hitachi VOS3 operating system software.

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  1. Mike Woodacre says

    When will we get AI generated podcasts? Or maybe we already are, which is why we get to see Henry’s mums new technology purchase?