Primeur magazine

Edition: weekly - Issue: 2015-12-28

Focus on Europe

Computer simulations that predict the light-induced change in the physical and chemical properties of complex systems, molecules, nanostructures and solids usually ignore the quantum nature of light. Scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), led by Professor Angel Rubio of the UPV/EHU's Department of Material Physics and Director of the Theory Department at the MPSD, have now shown how the effects of the photons can be properly included in such calculations. This study opens up the possibility of predicting and controlling the change of material properties due to the interaction with photons from first principles. Read further...
ESI Group, pioneer and solution provider in Virtual Prototyping for manufacturing industries, has opened its new European HPC Center. The data centre is now based on the Teratec Campus, an ideal location to launch collaborative High-Performance Computing (HPC) projects as it is in the vicinity of Europe's biggest HPC centre: the CEA's "Très Grand Centre de Calcul". The new data centre will effectively act as ESI's Point of Delivery (POD), serving all ESI offices across Europe as a platform for ESI's new software development and engineering services alike. ESI teamed up with Legrand, the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures to meet the technical challenges surrounding this project. Read further...

Hardware

Using only processes found in existing microchip fabrication facilities, researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado have produced a working optoelectronic microprocessor, which computes electronically but uses light to move information. Read further...
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), in collaboration with China Telecom Beijing Research Institute, has opened a joint Network Function Virtualization (NFV) lab in Beijing. The joint lab will help China Telecom, the country's second largest telecommunications operator, plan for implementing NFV technologies and accelerate innovation of new offerings to its customers. Read further...
NetApp Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SolidFire for $870 million in cash. Founded in 2010, SolidFire is a market expert in all-flash storage systems built for the next-generation data centre where simple scaling, set-and-forget management, assured performance and multi-tenancy, and Cloud economic models are driving new market growth. Read further...
Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is a type of information processing system based on mimicking the principles of biological brains, and has been broadly applied in application domains such as pattern recognition, automatic control, signal processing, decision support system and artificial intelligence. Spiking Neural Network (SNN) is a type of biologically-inspired ANN that performs information processing based on discrete-time spikes. It is more biologically realistic than classic ANNs, and can potentially achieve a much better performance-power ratio. Recently, researchers from Zhejiang University and Hangzhou Dianzi University in Hangzhou, China successfully developed the Darwin Neural Processing Unit (NPU), a neuromorphic hardware co-processor based on Spiking Neural Networks, fabricated by standard CMOS technology. Read further...

Applications

As the largest student supercomputer challenge in the world, the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge is aiming to promote the communication and cultivation of young talents, improve the application and R&D capability of supercomputing, and drive the supercomputing innovation for industry boosting. Now, the ASC16 registry has been opened for all universities around the world, and preliminary activities are under progress. In order to promote the development of HPC application and talent cultivation, the ASC committee invites HPC users and experts to submit applications for contests, the selected ones will be used for the ASC16 competition. Read further...
Sandia National Laboratories and Arizona State University (ASU) have teamed up to further improve computational models of algae growth in raceway ponds that can predict performance, improve pond design and operation and discover ways to improve algae yield outdoors. Read further...
In new research published in the prestigious journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), a team of scientists from the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, in the Faculty of Medicine, unraveled a longstanding mystery of a fundamental property of the brain. Read further...
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have created a new method for detecting and analyzing fission chains to assess and evaluate nuclear material. Read further...
The drugs of tomorrow may be discovered by computers. A proof-of-concept study published December 23 inCell Systemsdemonstrates that with the right input of data about infectious yeast, a machine algorithm can learn to identify combinations of existing and previously unknown compounds that can work together as antifungal agents. While the method needs to be perfected, it's a new approach to combat infectious disease with the potential to rapidly identify combinations of agents that might help overcome drug resistance. Read further...

TOP500

A software programme that ranks supercomputers on their ability to solve complex problems rather than on raw speed alone continues to gain traction in the high-performance computing community. More than 60 supercomputers were ranked by the emerging tool, termed the High Performance Conjugate Gradients (HPCG) benchmark, in ratings released at the annual supercomputing meeting SC15 in late November. Eighteen months earlier, only 15 supercomputers were on the list. Read further...

The Cloud

IBM has introduced IBM Alert Notification Service, a new service on IBM Cloud which enables DevOps teams to rapidly receive and respond to early, critical alerts about potential issues concerning their applications, before their users are affected. Read further...
To keep pace with rapid Cloud growth, Oracle unveiled plans to construct a next-generation technology campus in Austin, Texas. The company also confirmed that it will purchase housing for employees to live affordably and conveniently nearby. The announcement underscores Oracle's commitment to its employees and to the Cloud, as the company continues to hire aggressively around the world. Read further...
In less than 20 months after raising its first round of growth capital, SHYFT Analytics, an expert in Cloud data management and guided analytics for global life sciences, has grown to over 100 employees and more than doubled the number of Life Sciences customers as it closes out a breakout year. Marked by a 100 percent increase in software subscriptions, new customers include both large pharma companies as well as emerging biotech firms. The SaaS-based company's exceptional growth has also led to an increase in office space from 12,000 to 25,000 square feet in Waltham, Massachusetts, with plans to expand operations to New York City and the West Coast in the 2016. Read further...