Monday, August 13, 2018

A Look at China' new Exascale Prototypes

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at China's new ARM-based Exascale supercomputer prototype.

As reported in China Daily, scientists have put an exascale computing prototype into operation that does not run the x86 instruction set. The Sunway exascale computer prototype was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC), the team that developed Sunway TaihuLight, crowned the world's fastest computer two years in a row in 2016 and 2017.
The Sunway exascale computer prototype is very much like a concept car that can run on road,"said Yang Meihong, director of the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan. "We expect to build the exascale computer in the second half of 2020 or the first half of 2021," said Yang.
Another prototype exascale supercomputer Tianhe-3 passed the acceptance tests on July 22. Its final version is expected to come out in 2020. The two prototypes marked a further step towards China's successful development of the next-generation supercomputer.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:
  • Rich points us to the story about Rigetti Computing's pending 128-qubit quantum computer. The company has already built the 128-qubit processing chip, and is working to put all the pieces together to bring more power to researchers and developers. If successful, it could be the world’s most powerful quantum computer and it could have the chance to outpace traditional supercomputers. Meanwhile, you can already access IBMQ, D-Wave, and Chinese quantum machines in the cloud today.
  • Henry notes that one of the scary things to come out of the Black Hat conference is a new kind of microwave weapon for cooking your enemy from communication satellites.
  • Dan is wardriving in North Carolina in the town the Internet forgot.
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Monday, August 6, 2018

A Look at the IO500 Benchmark Suite

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team talks to John Bent from the IO500 committee about why he and a team of I/O professionals created the IO500 benchmark suite. The second IO500 list was revealed at ISC 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Following the success of the Top500 in collecting and analyzing historical trends in supercomputer technology and evolution, the IO500 was created in 2017 and published its first list at SC17. The need for such an initiative has long been known within High Performance Computing; however, defining appropriate benchmarks had long been challenging. Despite this challenge, the community, after long and spirited discussion, finally reached consensus on a suite of benchmarks and a metric for resolving the scores into a single ranking.
After that, we do our Catch of the Week.
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Lincoln Labs Paper on Spectre/Meltdown Performance Hits

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at a new whitepaper from Lincoln Labs focused on the performance hits Spectre/Meltdown mitigations. The news is not good for HPC workloads.

After that, Shahin point us to the story about how DARPA just allocated $75 Million in awards for thinking-outside-the-box computing innovation. They call it the Electronics Resurgence Initiative and the list of projects funded includes something called Software Defined Hardware.

After that, we do the Catch of the Week.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

A Look at China's Plan for Exascale



In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team goes through a fascinating presentation that provides details on China's Three-Pronged Plan for Exascale.
China may not be the first to Exascale, but they are building three divergent architectural prototypes that pave the way forward. We've got the details in this not-to-miss podcast.
We should probably note that this is our 200th Episode of Radio Free HPC. We would like to thank all 13 of our regular listeners for their continued support!



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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Radio Free Trip Report from ISC 2018

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team offers up a Trip Report from ISC 2018 in Frankfurt. It was a whirlwind week for news with a new USA machine on the TOP500, but the other big news centered around the convergence of HPC & AI. This common theme was all over the show floor, with use cases on display in dozens of exhibits.

Topics include:
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Monday, June 25, 2018

For the first time in years, the USA Leads the TOP500 Supercomputers

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team reviews the latest TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers.
The TOP500 celebrates its 25th anniversary with a major shakeup at the top of the list. For the first time since November 2012, the US claims the most powerful supercomputer in the world, leading a significant turnover in which four of the five top systems were either new or substantially upgraded.
Highlights:
#1 is Summit, an IBM-built supercomputer now running at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), captured the number one spot with a performance of 122.3 petaflops on High Performance Linpack (HPL), the benchmark used to rank the TOP500 list. Summit has 4,356 nodes, each one equipped with two 22-core Power9 CPUs, and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. The nodes are linked together with a Mellanox dual-rail EDR InfiniBand network.

#2 is Sunway TaihuLight, a system developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, drops to number two after leading the list for the past two years. Its HPL mark of 93 petaflops has remained unchanged since it came online in June 2016.

#3 is Sierra, a new system at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory took the number three spot, delivering 71.6 petaflops on HPL. Built by IBM, Sierra’s architecture is quite similar to that of Summit, with each of its 4,320 nodes powered by two Power9 CPUs plus four NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs and using the same Mellanox EDR InfiniBand as the system interconnect.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Preview of ISC 2018 Student Cluster Competition & Ancillary Events

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team previews the ISC 2018 Student Cluster Competition.

"Now in its seventh year, the ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition enables international STEM teams to take part in a real-time contest focused on advancing STEM disciplines and HPC skills development at ISC 2018 from June 25-27. To take home top honors, twelve teams will have the opportunity 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."



After that, Rich describes a number of ancillary events have been scheduled in Frankfurt.

Events in chronological order:
  • HP-CAST will take place June 22-23 at the Frankfurt Marriott. HP-CAST is an organization of HPE customers and partners who provide input to HP to increase the capabilities of HP solutions for large-scale, scientific and technical computing.
  • The Dell EMC HPC Community will get together for a half-day meeting on Sunday, June 24 at the Frankfurt Marriott.
  • DDN User Group will be held on Monday, June 25 from 9:00am - 12:30am at the Movenpick Hotel.
  • D-Wave Systems will host a seminar on Quantum Computing on Monday, June 25 starting at 2:00pm at the Frankfurt Marriott.
  • Intel Special Session: Dr. Raj Hazra, Corporate Vice President at Intel, will discuss AI & HPC emerging technologies that will accelerate discovery and innovation at 6:00 pm Monday, June 25 in the Panarama 2 room at the Frankfurt Messe.
  • The Hyperion Research  Breakfast Briefing will take place on Tuesday, June 26 at 7:45am at the Grandhotel Hessischer Hof.
  • Univa will host a Breakfast Seminar on Cloud HPC on Wednesday, June 27 at 8:00am at the Frankfurt Marriott.
  • The Women in HPC network is running a half day workshop on Thursday, June 28.
After that, we do our Catch of the Week.

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