Primeur magazine

Edition: flash - Issue: 2016-04-08

Blog

On the TOP500 website Andrew Jones gives explanations of commonly used HPC phrases. "People are the most important asset in HPC"? What the speaker means is "I'm sure this is the right thing to say, but I still want money for hardware", says Jones. "TOP500 ranking doesn't matter" could actually mean "My supercomputer would not make a high position on the list, so I will 'diss' the list". He has got a few more in the blog. Read further...

Hardware

Phys.org runs an article about the hybrid cluster Xiuhcoatl at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico. The potential of this supercomputer which now runs at 250 Tflop/s is available to researchers, companies and industry, as well as institutions from the public sector that require processing of large volumes of information. Read further...

Applications

Recently, a group of scientists from the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) and the University of Sydney have made use of the K supercomputer, together with the NTChem software developed at AICS, to provide new insights into the properties of fullerenes (buckeyballs). The group has used quantum chemistry calculations to predict, with high accuracy, the property known as the heat of formation which is essentially a measure of how much energy is generated or consumed for the formation of chemical bonds in a molecule. This property is important for comprehending how readily a compound will form. In their investigation, the scientists have made a very precise prediction for not only C60, which is the most common fullerene, but also a series of larger fullerenes, including C360, which has 360 carbon atoms. Read further...

Industry news

Steve Conway has a guest blog on the HPE site "HPC market leader takes aim at big compute-big data convergence". He says: "IDC believes that the new, expanded portfolio of platforms and solutions, driven by the company's successful market strategy, positions HPE to benefit strongly from the IDC-forecast robust growth of the worldwide HPC market from $21 billion in 2015 to $31 billion in 2019. IDC further believes that HPC market leadership will also give HPE an important leg-up in the related markets for enterprise big data, cloud computing, and the IoT." Read further...
ETP4HPC held its sixth General Assembly on 15th March 2016 at which all members of the association were invited. Barcelona Supercomputing Center hosted this event. There is a report on the ETP4HPC site. One of ETP4HPC's main activities of 2015 was the publication of the Update on the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA 2) in November. Michael Malms, an ETP4HPC Expert, during his presentation discussed this and the plans for future SRAs. His talk also reminded the two calls in Work Programme 2016-2017 (Horizon 2020 programme): FET HPC 1 2016: Co-design of HPC systems and applications; and, FET HPC 2 2017: Transition to Exascale Computing, with its 5 subtopics. Read further...
In his talks with engineering managers, flow analysts and IT staff, Wim Slagter, ANSYS, often hears variants of this question. Why is more computing power a strategic asset for my engineering department? Why does scalability matter for my simulation jobs that don't go beyond 32–64 cores in parallel? What's in it for IT when we are stuck with our current HPC server or cluster for at least two years? He tries to answer each of these questions in a blog on the ANSYS site. Read further...