Primeur weekly 2016-07-18

Special

SoftBank Group to acquire ARM for about 29 billion euro (24 billion GBP) ...

Focus

Moore's Law is all about economics but there are alternative technologies on the way ...

CMOS is still here to stay but we need to think out of the box to reclaim efficiency ...

Why the hunt for killer applications to run on quantum computers is challenging ...

Quantum computing

Researchers at UCSB blur the line between classical and quantum physics by connecting chaos and entanglement ...

Soprano and quantum computer combine for world first performance ...

Focus on Europe

New data centre Amsterdam Science Park for SURFsara supercomputers is completed ...

Middleware

Mellanox simplifies RDMA deployments with enhanced RoCE software ...

Hardware

Researchers devise secure, efficient anonymity network ...

Berkeley Lab scientists grow atomically thin transistors and circuits ...

Final expansion stage of the high-performance computer at DKRZ starts operation ...

Huaxintong Semiconductor licenses ARMv8-A architecture ...

SiFive introduces industry's first open-source chip platforms ...

AMAX launches GPU solutions based on latest NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators ...

Applications

Netherlands eScience Center initiates three new Path-Finding projects ...

Physicists couple distant nuclear spins using a single electron ...

Supercomputers fire lasers to shoot gamma ray beam ...

Physics researchers question calcium-52's magic ...

Jack Wells brings HPC expertise to seismology meeting ...

Bridges connects evolutionary biologists with genomes of wild species ...

The Cloud

IBM Cloud ranked second in worldwide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) ...

Primeur magazine

Edition: weekly - Issue: 2016-07-18

Special

The SoftBank Group (SGB) from Japan has come to an agreement to acquire ARM Holdings plc in the UK for about 29 billion euro (24 billion GPB). ARM will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SGB. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of September. The fall of the British Pound after the Brexit a few weeks ago, makes ARM shares about 30% cheaper in other currencies like the Japanese Yen. ARM is by far the largest European chip architecture maker. ARM is also active in HPC. Recently Fujitsu in Japan announced that they are working on using ARM based chips for the Post K supercomputer under development. ARM is also used in several European exascale computing development projects, including Mont-Blanc, Exanest, and Exanode. Read further...

Focus

On June 22, 2016 at the ISC 2016 Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, John Shalf from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory chaired a session titled "Scaling Beyond the End of Moore's Law". The session consisted of an introduction, three presentations and a panel discussion. Invited speakers were Josh Fryman from Intel who talked about the continuation of CMOS, Damian Steiger from ETH Zurich who addressed quantum computing, and Karlheinz Meier from the University of Heidelberg who proposed neuromorphic computing as an alternative for the end of Moore's Law. Read further...
In the ISC 2016 session titled "Scaling Beyond the End of Moore's Law", chaired by John Shalf, the first speaker was Josh Fryman from Intel. He confirmed John Shalf's words saying that Moore's Law is a business statement, not an engineering statement. About every two years, engineers double devices - today, we are talking transistors - to get performance increases of about 40% and energy reductions of about 65% for a constant level of power and cost. From a business point of view, if you are going to have a technology to continue the ecosystem, this is interesting. On the engineering side, the recipe for engineers to achieve Moore's Law transistors is to scale dimensions and supply voltage each by 30%. When the recipe fails to work, engineers have to innovate and invent a new recipe. Read further...
In the ISC 2016 session titled "Scaling Beyond the End of Moore's Law", chaired by John Shalf, the second speaker was Damian Steiger from the Theoretical Physics Lab at ETH Zurich. His goal was to show why quantum computing can solve some of the problems which CMOS can not for at least a few specific applications. Damian Steiger defined a quantum computer as being fundamentally based on different principles of how to process information. One hundred years ago, we figured out that nature is not moving according to classical laws of physics but to quantum physics laws. Since then, we have seen many interesting effects like quantum tunneling, entanglement, and superpositions to describe how atoms and electrons move. Now, with quantum computers, this is the first time that we try to use these laws of physics, not just to build devices but to actually do information processing. Read further...

Quantum computing

Using a small quantum system consisting of three superconducting qubits, researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Google have uncovered a link between aspects of classical and quantum physics thought to be unrelated: classical chaos and quantum entanglement. Their findings suggest that it would be possible to use controllable quantum systems to investigate certain fundamental aspects of nature. Read further...
What happens when you combine the pure tones of an internationally renowned mezzo soprano and the complex technology of a $15million quantum supercomputer? The answer will be exclusively revealed to audiences at the Port Eliot Festival when Superposition, created by Plymouth University composer Alexis Kirke, receives its world premiere later this summer. Read further...

Focus on Europe

The new data centre of SURFsara on the Amsterdam Science Park is delivered on schedule on 1 July by the builder and developer Telecity Group. SURFsara will rent 2 floors in the 72-meter-high building for the national high-performance-computing (HPC) infrastructure. Read further...

Middleware

Mellanox Technologies Ltd. has made available new software drivers for RoCE - RDMA over Converged Ethernet. The new drivers are designed to simplify RDMA - Remote Direct Memory Access - deployments on Ethernet networks and enable high-end performance using RoCE, without requiring the network to be configured for lossless operation. This enables Cloud, storage, and enterprise customers to deploy RoCE more quickly and easily while accelerating application performance, improving infrastructure efficiency and reducing cost. Read further...

Hardware

Anonymity networks protect people living under repressive regimes from surveillance of their Internet use. But the recent discovery of vulnerabilities in the most popular of these networks - Tor - has prompted computer scientists to try to come up with more secure anonymity schemes. At the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium in July, researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne will present a new anonymity scheme that provides strong security guarantees but uses bandwidth much more efficiently than its predecessors. In experiments, the researchers' system required only one-tenth as much time as existing systems to transfer a large file between anonymous users. Read further...
In an advance that helps pave the way for next-generation electronics and computing technologies - and possibly paper-thin gadgets - scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a way to chemically assemble transistors and circuits that are only a few atoms thick. What's more, their method yields functional structures at a scale large enough to begin thinking about real-world applications and commercial scalability. They reported their research online July 11 in the journalNature Nanotechnology. Read further...
On June 28th, 2016, company Atos/Bull handed over the second expansion stage of supercomputer Mistral to the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) in Hamburg. Since July 4th, 2016, the third "High-performance computing system for Earth system research" (HLRE-3), with a peak performance of approximately 3,5 quadrillion numerical operations per second (3,5 Petaflop/s), has been available to the climate research community. Read further...
Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology Co., ltd of China has licensed ARMv8-A architecture to accelerate advanced server chipset technologies in the rapidly expanding Chinese server market, the second largest data centre market in the world. The multiyear license will enable Chinese companies to deliver ARM-based server technologies in their home market, enabling large scale deployment of the most efficient server solutions available. Read further...
SiFive, the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized, open-source enabled semiconductors, has introduced its flagship Freedom family of system on a chip (SoC) platforms. Built around the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture invented by the company's founders at the University of California, Berkeley, SiFive's Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 platforms represent a fundamentally new approach to designing and producing SoCs that redefines traditional silicon business models and reverses the industry's prohibitively rising licensing, design and implementation costs. Read further...
AMAX's GPU solutions and HPC clusters are now available integrated with the latest NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerator for PCIe. Offerings are expected to begin shipping in Q4 2016. Read further...

Applications

The Netherlands eScience Center has initiated three new Path-Finding projects. The projects are intended to provide the opportunity to rapidly meet short-term scientific challenges, serve as a pilot for future research projects, address immediate technological goals, or investigate the potential to initiate larger projects. Read further...
For the first time, researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have coupled the nuclear spins of distant atoms using just a single electron. Three research groups took part in this complex experiment, the results of which have now been published in the journalNature Nanotechnology. Read further...
Ever play with a magnifying lens as a kid? Imagine a lens as big as the Earth. Now focus sunlight down to a pencil tip. That still wouldn't be good enough for what some Texas scientists have in mind. They want to make light even 500 times more intense. And they say it could open the door to the most powerful radiation in the universe: gamma rays. Read further...
For decades nuclear physicists have tried to learn more about which elements, or their various isotopes, are "magic". This is not to say that they display supernatural powers. Magic atomic nuclei are composed of "magic" numbers of protons and neutrons - collectively called nucleons - such as 2, 8, 20, and 28. These specific numbers of nucleons define shells inside the nucleus, which, when closed, make it far more strongly bound, and stable, than other nuclei. Read further...
Jack Wells, director of science for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a US Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, recently served on a panel to discuss the future of high-performance computing (HPC) and its applications in seismology and geophysics. Read further...
Depressing but true: things don't look good for the Sumatran rhinoceros. This unique tropical species is all but extinct in the wild. To make matters worse, they aren't doing well in zoos either. Recently the world zoo community started shipping their rhinos to Malaysia, so that the surviving captive animals can be maintained in a central location - and in a climate more suitable to their survival in captivity. Read further...

The Cloud

International Data Corporation (IDC) has identified the IBM Cloud as the second leading global IaaS provider according to its Worldwide Semi-Annual Public Cloud Services Tracker, 2H 2015. The tracker looked at both individual Cloud service providers and overall market revenue while assessing the complete gamut of Infrastructure as a Service capabilities including provisioning servers (virtual and bare metal), storage and networking options. Read further...

Primeur weekly 2016-07-18

Special

SoftBank Group to acquire ARM for about 29 billion euro (24 billion GBP) ...

Focus

Moore's Law is all about economics but there are alternative technologies on the way ...

CMOS is still here to stay but we need to think out of the box to reclaim efficiency ...

Why the hunt for killer applications to run on quantum computers is challenging ...

Quantum computing

Researchers at UCSB blur the line between classical and quantum physics by connecting chaos and entanglement ...

Soprano and quantum computer combine for world first performance ...

Focus on Europe

New data centre Amsterdam Science Park for SURFsara supercomputers is completed ...

Middleware

Mellanox simplifies RDMA deployments with enhanced RoCE software ...

Hardware

Researchers devise secure, efficient anonymity network ...

Berkeley Lab scientists grow atomically thin transistors and circuits ...

Final expansion stage of the high-performance computer at DKRZ starts operation ...

Huaxintong Semiconductor licenses ARMv8-A architecture ...

SiFive introduces industry's first open-source chip platforms ...

AMAX launches GPU solutions based on latest NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators ...

Applications

Netherlands eScience Center initiates three new Path-Finding projects ...

Physicists couple distant nuclear spins using a single electron ...

Supercomputers fire lasers to shoot gamma ray beam ...

Physics researchers question calcium-52's magic ...

Jack Wells brings HPC expertise to seismology meeting ...

Bridges connects evolutionary biologists with genomes of wild species ...

The Cloud

IBM Cloud ranked second in worldwide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) ...