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Video: Why your school should enter the ISC Student Cluster Competition

In this video, future HPC professionals discuss their participation in the ISC Student Cluster Competition. “Now in its seventh year, the Student Cluster Competition enables international teams to take part in a real-time contest focused on advancing STEM disciplines and HPC skills development. To take home top honors, the teams will have to showcase systems of their own design, adhering to strict power constraints and achieve the highest performance across a series of standard HPC benchmarks and applications.”

Seeking Teams for the 2018 Student Cluster Competition at ISC in Frankfurt

The HPC Advisory Council has officially kicked off the ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) with an open call for team entries in the 2018 competition. “The Student Cluster Competition provides a real-world hands-on education that directly benefits students and their individual studies,” noted Gilad Shainer, chairman of the HPC Advisory Council. “Team members gain access to a wealth of industry expertise, training and tools and hands-on exposure to a range of technologies and techniques they’ll use for competition and throughout their careers. By helping advance their knowledge and capabilities, the entire HPC community benefits.”

Video: The State of Bioinformatics in HPC

“In the last few years DNA sequencing technologies have become extremely cheap enabling us to quickly generate terabytes of data for a few thousand dollars. Analysis of this data has become the new bottleneck. Novel compute-intensive streaming approaches that leverage this data without the time-costly step of genome assembly and how UWA’s Edwards group leveraged these approaches to find new breeding targets in crop species are presented.”

Video: DDN Burst Buffer

Justin Glen and Daniel Richards from DDN presented this talk at the HPC Advisory Council Australia Conference. “Burst Buffer was originally created to checkpoint-restart applications and has evolved to help accelerate applications & file systems and make HPC clusters more predictable. This presentation explores regional use cases, recommendations on burst buffer sizing and investment and where it is best positioned in a HPC workflow.”

Beating Floating Point at its own game: Posit Arithmetic

“Dr. Gustafson has recently finished writing a book, The End of Error: Unum Computing, that presents a new approach to computer arithmetic: the unum. The universal number, or unum format, encompasses all IEEE floating-point formats as well as fixed-point and exact integer arithmetic. This approach obtains more accurate answers than floating-point arithmetic yet uses fewer bits in many cases, saving memory, bandwidth, energy, and power.”

Trends in Systems and How to Get Efficient Performance

Martin Hilgeman from Dell gave this talk at the Switzerland HPC Conference. “With all the advances in massively parallel and multi-core computing with CPUs and accelerators it is often overlooked whether the computational work is being done in an efficient manner. This efficiency is largely being determined at the application level and therefore puts the responsibility of sustaining a certain performance trajectory into the hands of the user. This presentation shows the well-known laws of parallel performance from the perspective of a system builder.”

A PCIe Congestion-Aware Performance Model for Densely Populated Accelerator Servers

“MeteoSwiss, the Swiss national weather forecast institute, has selected densely populated accelerator servers as their primary system to compute weather forecast simulation. Servers with multiple accelerator devices that are primarily connected by a PCI-Express (PCIe) network achieve a significantly higher energy efficiency. Memory transfers between accelerators in such a system are subjected to PCIe arbitration policies. In this paper, we study the impact of PCIe topology and develop a congestion-aware performance model for PCIe communication. We present an algorithm for computing congestion factors of every communication in a congestion graph that characterizes the dynamic usage of network resources by an application.”

Panel Discussion: The Exascale Era

In this video from Switzerland HPC Conference, Rich Brueckner from insideHPC moderates a panel discussion on Exascale Computing. “The Exascale Computing Project in the USA is tasked with developing a set of advanced supercomputers with 50x better performance than today’s fastest machines on real applications. This panel discussion will look at the challenges, gaps, and probable pathways forward in this monumental endeavor.”


Gilad Shainer, HPC Advisory Council
Jeffrey Stuecheli, IBM
DK Panda, Ohio State University
Torsten Hoefler, ETH Zurich
Rich Graham, Mellanox

Application Profiling at the HPCAC High Performance Center

“To achieve good scalability performance on the HPC scientific applications typically involves good understanding of the workload though performing profile analysis, and comparing behaviors of using different hardware which pinpoint bottlenecks in different areas of the HPC cluster. In this session, a selection of HPC applications will be shown to demonstrate various methods of profiling and analysis to determine the bottleneck, and the effectiveness of the tuning to improve on the application performance from tests conducted at the HPC Advisory Council High Performance Center.”

HPC Advisory Council Announces Global Conference Series for 2017

Today the HPC Advisory Council announced key dates for its 2017 international conference series in the USA and Switzerland. The conferences are designed to attract community-wide participation, industry leading sponsors and subject matter experts. “HPC is constantly evolving and reflects the driving force behind many medical, industrial and scientific breakthroughs using research that harnesses the power of HPC and yet, we’ve only scratched the surface with respect to exploiting the endless opportunities that HPC, modeling, and simulation present,” said Gilad Shainer, chairman of the HPC Advisory Council. “The HPCAC conference series presents a unique opportunity for the global HPC community to come together in an unprecedented fashion to share, collaborate, and innovate our way into the future.”