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Efficient AI Computing for the Planet

In this keynote talk from the 2020 HiPEAC conference, Alesssandro Cremonesi from STMicroelectronics describes how artificial intelligence (AI) is the central nervous system of an increasingly connected world. He sets out both the benefits and potential pitfalls of AI, before arguing that AI now has to move beyond performance to efficiency in order to be sustainable. “So far, AI developments have been focused on performances regardless of the computational power needed, reaching in some applications performances better than the human ones. Now it is time to focus on efficient computation.”

Video: Overview of the Fujitsu A64fx processor

This video from Coreteks provides an overview of the Fujitsu A64FX processor that will power the pending Fugaku supercomputer in Japan. “The A64FX is a many core CPU like AMD Epyc or Intel’s Xeons, but at the same time it behaves like a GPU in some workloads matching NVIDIA’s most powerful offering, Volta. Today we’ll look at how this chip operates, why it could challenge Intel, AMD, NVIDIA and cloud and hyperscalers and what it could mean for us PC enthusiasts.”

Super cooling unit saves water at Sandia HPC data center

A new high efficiency cooling unit installed on the roof of Sandia National Laboratories’ supercomputer center saved 554,000 gallons of water during its first six months of operation last year, says David J. Martinez, engineering project lead for Sandia’s Infrastructure Computing Services. “The dramatic decrease in water use, important for a water-starved state, could be the model for cities and other large users employing a significant amount of water to cool thirsty supercomputer clusters springing up like mushrooms around the country, says Martinez.

LBNL Breaks New Ground in Data Center Optimization

Berkeley Lab has been at the forefront of efforts to design, build, and optimize energy-efficient hyperscale data centers. “In the march to exascale computing, there are real questions about the hard limits you run up against in terms of energy consumption and cooling loads,” Elliott said. “NERSC is very interested in optimizing its facilities to be leaders in energy-efficient HPC.”

Isambard 2 at UK Met Office to be largest Arm supercomputer in Europe

The  UK Met Office  been awarded £4.1m by EPSRC to create Isambard 2, the largest Arm-based supercomputer in Europe. The powerful new £6.5m facility, to be hosted by the Met Office in Exeter and utilized by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, will double the size of GW4 Isambard, to 21,504 high performance cores and 336 nodes. “Isambard 2 will incorporate the latest novel technologies from HPE and new partner Fujitsu, including next-generation Arm CPUs in one of the world’s first A64fx machines from Cray.”

Arm HPC User Group to Host First Annual Meeting in Portugal

Arm’s HPC User Group (A-HUG) is transitioning to a fully-fledged community-led organization to better support the Arm ecosystem. The first annual meeting of the community-lead A-HUG will be held March 12-13 in Porto, Portugal. “The A-HUG event will include a hands-on training event and excellent talks covering the broad landscape of early systems & experience, near-term expectations for new hardware, and long term trends for architectures.”

Fujitsu to Deploy Arm-based Supercomputer at Nagoya University

Today Fujitsu announced that it has received an order for an Arm-based supercomputer system from Nagoya University’s Information Technology Center. “For the first time in the world, this system will adopt 2,304 nodes of the Fujitsu Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX1000, which utilizes the technology of the supercomputer Fugaku developed jointly with RIKEN. The sum of the theoretical computational performance of the entire system is 15.88 petaflops, making it one of the highest performing systems in Japan.”

LANL’s EMC3 Consortium enjoys rapid growth in its first year

Just over a year after Los Alamos National Laboratory launched the Efficient Mission Centric Computing Consortium (EMC3), 15 companies, universities and federal organizations are now working together to explore new ways to make extreme-scale computers more efficient. “In the first year of EMC3 we have already seen efficiency improvements to HPC in a number of areas, including the world’s first NVMe-based hardware-accelerated compressed parallel filesystem, in-situ analysis enabled on network adapters for a real simulation code, identifying issues with file system metadata performance in the Linux Kernel, record-setting in situ simulation output indexing, demonstrating file-system metadata indexing, and more.”

European SiPearl Startup designing microprocessor for Exascale

Today European chip startup SiPearl announced it is moving into its operational phase. The company is now the 27th member of the European Processor Initiative (EPI) consortium. “By delivering supercomputing power, energy efficiency and backdoor-free security, the solutions that we are developing with support from the EPI members will enable Europe to gain its independence and, more importantly, to ensure its technological sovereignty on the market for high performance computing, which has become one of the key drivers for economic growth”, explains Philippe Notton, SiPearl’s CEO.

Technologies for Energy Efficient Supercomputing

In this special guest feature, Robert Roe from Scientific Computing World writes that it is not always clear which HPC technology provides the most energy-efficient solution for a given application. “You need to understand your application as somebody that is coming into this from a greenfield perspective. If your application doesn’t parallelize well, or if it needs higher frequency processors, then the best thing you can do is pick the right processor and the right number of them so you are not wasting power on CPU cycles that are not being used.”