Virtual SC20 Retrospective: Thinkers’ Thoughts on HPC Today and Tomorrow

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Check out this assemblage’s reflections on last week’s virtual SC20. Their thoughts range from big-picture insights on how the event reflects the state of HPC to the keynotes, sessions and announcements they think were particularly notable (and worth going back and watching, if you missed them). Among the topics covered: The convergence of the Top500 and Green500 supercomputer lists, the emerging earmarks of machine learning HPC workloads and the validity of supercomputing predictions made at SC in 2006 over against predictions for 2035. The group also discusses the virtues and vices of SC as virtual – one panelist observed that Prof. Bjorn Stevens’ opening climate change keynote was watched in real time by 290, then watched later by nearly 9,000, more than 2x the number registered for SC20. Please note that Dr. Thomas Sterling of Indiana University and Beowulf cluster computing fame was to have been part of the panel, but due to technical problems we talked with him separately; a link to his comments is below. Our other panelists are Bob Sorensen, SVP of research at industry analyst firm Hyperion Research; Addison Snell, CEO of analyst firm Intersect360 Research; and Elad Raz, founder and CEO of NextSilicon, which is developing a new approach to HPC architecture.