Items tagged with supercomputer

There is one constant in the world of supercomputers: no one is going to be 'fastest' for long. In fact, some supercomputers can seem downright slow after only a couple of years, as hardware continues to become faster and more dense. Take for example Oak Ridge's TITAN supercomputer. Launched in 2013, this supercomputer managed to push about 20 petaFLOPs of throughput (17.59 pFLOPs LINPACK; 27 pFLOPs theoretical). At the time, that was downright mind-blowing. But consider TaihuLight, China's latest supercomputer, coming in at 93 petaFLOPs. For those who don't want to grab a calculator or exercise simple math, that means that in a mere three years, China managed to push out a supercomputer 5x faster... Read more...
There’s a new system sitting at the top of the charts of the TOP500 list, which lays out the world’s highest performing supercomputers for all to see. The Sunway TaihuLight Chinese supercomputer has taken over the No. 1 position, achieving an amazing 93 petaflop/s using the LINPACK performance metric. The TaihuLight, which was developed by National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and resides at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, is most remarkable for the fact that it's truly a homegrown supercomputer. It uses Chinese-developed ShenWei 26010 (SW26010) 64-bit RISC processors, which each have 260 cores and are rated at 3 teraflops. The TaihuLight... Read more...
The supercomputing segment is set to get a big boost from new silicon announced today at Intel. That silicon is a new version of Xeon Phi, otherwise known as Knight's Landing. Whatever you want to call it, the pre-production chip is a 72-core coprocessor solution manufactured on a 14nm process with 3D Tri-Gate transistors. These aren't CPUs like the kind you drop into your motherboard. They're coprocessors built around Intel's MIC (Many Integrated Core) architecture that, just like it sounds, combines a whole bunch of cores into a single chip, which itself is part of a larger PCI-E add-in card solution for supercomputing applications.Intel Knight's Landing Processor Die Map The add-in cards run... Read more...
The U.S. isn't a slouch in the supercomputer game, but it's just made it clear that it doesn't just want to be powerful in this arena, but be the leader. In a post made on the official Whitehouse homepage, an Executive Order from President Obama is discussed, which involves plans to unveil a supercomputer in the next decade that hits the much-sought-after performance of 1 exaflop. We've been hearing about exascale computing for a while, so it might seem like we're on the verge of it becoming a reality. But when you consider the sheer amount of performance required to hit that target, it's easy to realize why we're still a ways off. The fastest supercomputer in the world right now is the Tianhe-2,... Read more...
We've heard of benchmarking scandals before, but usually they involve gaming benchmarks and tweaked drivers that run afoul of the rules to gain a competitive advantage. This time, however, it's Chinese search engine Baidu that's in hot water after it was discovered that its supercomputer cheated in a major artificial intelligence competition.Prior to being caught, Dr. Ren Wu, head of the Baidu Heterogeneous Computing team, had boasted that his company was the top dog in computer intelligence. "We have great power in our hands -- much greater than our competitors," Dr. Wu said. The competitors he speaks of include both Google and Microsoft, a couple of tech titans based in the U.S.Baidu's bad... Read more...
The cyberwar and war of words between the United States and China is never-ending. When we last visited the tense relationship between the U.S. and China, President Barack Obama was crying foul over draft anti-terrorism legislation that would negatively affect American companies conducting business in China. More to the point, Obama took direct issue with language in the bill that would require American companies operating within China to deliver encryption keys to the Chinese government, install security backdoors, and keep all user data on Chinese soil. "Those kinds of restrictive practices I think would ironically hurt the Chinese economy over the long term,” said Obama in a March interview... Read more...
Watson made a name for itself when IBM paraded the artificially intelligent computer system on Jeopardy and pitted it against the game show's two biggest winners of all-time -- Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the longest winning streak, and Brad Rutter, the all-time money winner. The supercomputer vanquished its human and flesh opponents, but more importantly, it introduced the world to IBM's impressive technology. Oh, and by the way, you can tap into that big brain of Watson's, for a price. IBM announced that Watson Analystics, a breakthrough natural language-based cognitive service that can provide instant access to powerful predictive and visual analytic tools for businesses, is available... Read more...
When you're a computer capable of beating some of the world's greatest chess players, why keep all of that knowledge to yourself? That's a question that IBM is posing to its wildly intelligent supercomputer, Watson, and it appears that Watson has an answer. This week, IBM announced that, for the first time, it will make its IBM Watson technology available as a development platform in the cloud, to enable a worldwide community of software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with Watson's cognitive computing intelligence. Why make such a move? According to IBM, the move aims to "spur innovation and fuel a new ecosystem of entrepreneurial software application providers... Read more...
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in collaboration with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have taken a step forward in HIV research by running simulations on the Blue Waters Supercomputer, which is comprised of 32 Cray XK7 supercomputer cabinets and is powered by 3,000 NVIDIA Tesla K20X GPU accelerators. The researchers used computer simulations to uncover the chemical structure of the HIV capsid, which according to the press release both protects a virus’ genetic material and also acts as a sort of virus delivery system by sneaking into a human cell and unloading the infection. Blue Waters Supercomputing Center... Read more...
Desktops may be losing steam as the segment gives way in some part to more mobile machines, but oddly, the largest desktops of all are seeing a huge uptick in attention. Supercomputers far and wide are becoming all the rage at institutions and educational facilities, as the world looks to plow more into science and computational black holes by using giant, always-on computers to handle the dirty work. Today, the Blue Waters supercomputer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign entered production, meaning the behemoth capable of performing quadrillions of calculations every second and working with quadrillions of bytes of data is now crunching numbers around the clock to help scientists... Read more...
The Titan supercomputer buildout at Oak Ridge National Laboratory was a much-publicized upgrade of the older Jaguar supercomputer that already existed on-site. Nvidia and AMD heavily publicized the facility's decision to combine Opteron processors with Nvidia's new K20/K20X-based graphics cards. When it launched the GTX Titan last month, Nvidia told us that one reason it settled on that name was because of the association with the Titan project. That deployment, it turns out, isn't working like it should. Stability problems have kept the supercomputer from passing final stability tests. The system needed to hit a 95% successful completion rate in a 14-day series of stress tests, but only managed... Read more...
Well... I'm sure this isn't what the designers behind IBM's Watson supercomputer had in mind when it came to human interaction. As it turns out, Watson, as smart as it is, cannot tell the difference between English words that are appropriate, and then not-so-appropriate. You might immediately realize when a word is derogatory - even if you've never heard it before - but no such luck with Watson. It's a mere computer, after all. The discovery of the issue came about when Watson took on the task of memorizing the entirety of UrbanDictionary - the online human-edited slang dictionary. If you want to know the meaning behind "iFatigue", for example, it's there (for the record, that's the... Read more...
Cray's future "Cascade" supercomputer will be a veritable powerhouse featuring Intel's Xeon Phi coprocessors built with 22nm 3D tri-gate transistors and Nvidia Tesla GPUs based on the chip designer's next-generation Kepler architecture, the company announced. This is a major win for Nvidia, and the latest in a long series of validations that GPUs have their place in supercomputing platforms. "This is an exciting announcement for us, and for our customers, as it proves that we remain committed to our vision of integrating a range of advanced processing technologies into a single, scalable architecture," said Peg Williams, Cray's senior vice president of high performance computing systems. "Adaptive... Read more...
If you've ever wanted to own your own supercomputer, now's your chance. Boutique system builder AVADirect announced what it claims is the first personal supercomputer workstation loaded to the gills with dual 8-core Intel Xeon processors, up to 192GB of memory, and support for up to four graphics cards. That's some serious horsepower, folks. AVADirect tapped EVGA to provide a pallet of Classified SR-X dual-socket 2011 motherboards to serve as the foundation for its personal supercomputer. Pricing starts at around $2,635 for a baseline configuration, which consists of: 2 x Xeon E5-2603 quad-core processors 2 x Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 CPU coolers 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM EVGA GeForce GTX 560 graphics... Read more...
SC11 is going on this week in Seattle, and supercomputers are the main topic of conversation. NVIDIA just announced that the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is deploying a Cray supercomputer accelerated by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, as part of the Blue Waters project to build one of the world's most powerful computer systems. Tesla GPUs will help enable NCSA to meet the mission of the Blue Waters project, which is to deploy a supercomputer capable of sustained performance of one petaflop on a diverse range of real-world science and engineering applications. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the University... Read more...
Wondering if ARM-based chips are powerful enough for the real world? Here's your answer. NVIDIA has just unveiled a new prototype system with Tegra ARM CPUs and CUDA GPUs, and that system just so happens to be a supercomputer. The company has announced that the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is developing a new hybrid supercomputer that, for the first time, uses energy-efficient, low-power NVIDIA Tegra ARM CPUs, together with high-performance NVIDIA CUDA GPUs. BSC is planning to develop the first large scale system based on this technology, with a near term goal of demonstrating two to five times improvement in energy efficiency compared with today's most efficient systems. BSC's ultimate... Read more...
Business, and technology, is booming in China. No shock there. As the world soars past 7 billion people, the home to many of them is soaring to new heights in the supercomputer arena. China has just completed their first supercomputer based on Chinese-made microprocessors, with the announcement coming this week at a tech meeting held in Jinan. The new machine is called the Sunway BlueLight MPP, and it was officially installed in September at the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan. A New York Times report mentions that it can perform around 1,000 trillion calculations per second, putting it among the 20 fastest supercomputers in the world. To do all of that math, it's relying on 8,700 ShenWei... Read more...
How do you turn a Jaguar into a Titan? It's simple really -- just change its diet to include plenty of Tesla chips. That's what the Oak Ridge National Laboratory plans to do as it upgrades its Jaguar supercomputer with no less than 960 Tesla M2090 GPUs based on Nvidia's Fermi architecture, followed by a second upgrade that will include 18,000 Tesla GPUs based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture. After the upgrade effort is complete, the new Titan supercomputer will have the potential to deliver over 20 petaflops of peak performance. A Titan indeed. "All areas of science can benefit from this substantial increase in computing power, opening the doors for new discoveries that so far have been out of... Read more...
Did you know that there's an actual place in the world called the San Diego Supercomputer Center? Let's just say you just found your next place of employment, huh? It sounds like a pretty awesome venue, and they just announced the launch of what is believed to be the largest academic-based cloud storage system in the U.S., specifically designed for researchers, students, academics, and industry users who require stable, secure, and cost-effective storage and sharing of digital information, including extremely large data sets. Michael Norman, director of SDSC, had this to say: "We believe that the SDSC Cloud may well revolutionize how data is preserved and shared among researchers, especially... Read more...
The Chinese have been climbing up the supercomputing staircase for some years; the country's upgraded Tianhe-I system is currently in the lead out of the TOP500. Despite Tianhe-I's success, it may be the last supercomputer China builds using both Intel and NVIDIA parts. (The Tianhe-I originally used 2,560 Radeon 4870 X2 cards, these were later swapped out for NV Tesla M2050 boards.) According to Hu Wei, lead designer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the country's next TOP500 contender (the Dawning will run mostly, if not entirely, on Chinese-designed microprocessors. Chinese developers have been working on their own CPU architecture for years; China has made no secret of the fact that it wants... Read more...
Sorry humans, but it's time to welcome your new robot overlords. After last night's airing of Jeopardy, it's only a matter of time before our gadgets turn against us, perhaps led by Watson or some other equally intelligent creation. You see, Watson is the name given to IBM's supercomputer, which proved both faster and smarter than the two most decorated Jeopardy champions of all time. Watson, which is much too large to fit behind a podium, was represented by an avatar and fed the questions via text. This occurred at the same time Jeopardy host Alex Trebek read the questions out loud to Ken Jennings, who hold's Jeopardy's longest win streak ever at 74 games, and Brad Rutter, whose more than $3.2... Read more...
It's sort of funny to think about how IBM has changed over the years. Remember when you either had an "IBM-compatible" PC or an Apple? Remember when ThinkPad meant IBM? The company has transformed a lot over the decades, and lately, they've really been on a supercomputer kick. IBM's Watson supercomputer will be on Jeopardy later in the month, representing a huge leap forward in artificial intelligence and speech technology. And now, IBM has landed a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory to use IBM's next-generation Blue Gene supercomputer to "enable significant advances in areas such as designing ultra-efficient electric car batteries, understanding global... Read more...
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