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Primeur weekly 2013-12-16

The Cloud

How to offer wow in the Cloud? A unique book on the user experience provides help with service design ...

GreenButton launches WarpDrive for Cloud data transfers ...

NetApp introduces new all-flash array and performance-optimized enterprise storage systems ...

European Commission to issue report with Cloud standards ...

Alelo consolidates data centre and prepares for the Cloud with IBM PureSystems ...

EuroFlash

ISC'14 to issue Calls for tutorial proposals, research paper submissions and more ...

HPC Advisory Council and Swiss National Supercomputing Centre announce Switzerland Conference 2014 ...

IBM scientists demonstrate quantum phenomenon for the first time using a plastic film ...

DRIHM, a new EUDAT Associated Partner, collaborates to provide new services for citizen scientists ...

The University of Cambridge chooses Mellanox FDR InfiniBand to accelerate UK's fastest academic cluster and further space research ...

Minister for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos and Catalonian Regional Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, visit the Barcelona Supercomputing Center ...

Altair Engineering announces 7th European Altair Technology Conference - to be held in Munich, Germany from June 24-26, 2014 and invites customers and industry experts to submit presentation proposals ...

New supercomputer puts Bristol at the forefront of research ...

Super-fast and super-green: Cambridge unveils pioneering high-performance computer ...

USFlash

HPC Advisory Council announces HPCmusic subgroup ...

Qualcomm Technologies introduces Snapdragon 410 chipset with integrated 4G LTE World Mode for high-volume smartphones ...

Convey Computer's implementation of PacBioToCA algorithm speeds DNA sequence assembly, delivering up to fifteen times acceleration ...

Astrophysicists launch ambitious assessment of galaxy formation simulations ...

HP introduces innovations built for the data centre of the future ...

Third quarter HPC server revenues experience year-over-year decline as expected, following exceptional year-ago quarter, according to IDC ...

New York State awards University at Buffalo $1 million for supercomputer expansion ...

Iowa State-led team wins supercomputer time to study nuclear structures and reactions ...

Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 enhances support for Oracle Database 12c ...

Raritan adds new swappable sensor and mini plug-in sensor for monitoring data centre environments ...

Super-fast and super-green: Cambridge unveils pioneering high-performance computer


13 Dec 2013 Cambridge - One of the world's greenest supercomputers has been unveiled by the High Performance Computing Service at the University of Cambridge. Named "Wilkes", after the Cambridge pioneer Maurice Wilkes, who built one of the first ever programmable computers in 1949, the new system has been rated second in the "Green 500" - a ranking of the most efficient supercomputers worldwide. It is, however, the most efficient air-cooled supercomputer in the world today - the first-placed machine used an oil-cooled system instead, making it the greenest machine of its kind.

Designed and built by the in-house engineering team within the Cambridge High Performance Computing Service, Wilkes' energy efficiency is 3,361 Mega-flops per watt. "Flops" (floating point operations per second) are a standard measure of computing performance.

Dr. Paul Calleja, Director of the Cambridge High Performance Computing Service, stated: "Energy-efficiency is the biggest single challenge in supercomputing today and our new system makes an important step forward in this regard."

The Dell system uses innovative NVIDIA GPU computational hardware, and apart from its green credentials is also the fastest GPU supercomputer in the UK - with a sustained performance of 250 "Teraflops". It reached position 166 in the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers. This is equivalent to approximately 4,000 desktop machines all running as a single system.

One of the primary uses of Wilkes is as a test bed for the development of a computing platform for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). This is a huge, international effort to build the world’s largest telescope. By detecting radio waves with unprecedented sensitivity and fidelity, the facility has the potential to answer some essential questions about the Universe, such as what the nature of dark energy is, and perhaps the most fundamental question of all - are we alone?

Cambridge is leading the design of the computational platform within the SKA, which is by far the world's most ambitious IT project. "Wilkes" will play an integral role in this design process.

The architecture of the GPU system has also been designed to be the most scalable possible using the very latest high-performance Infiniband network from Mellanox. This provides a massive 100 gigabytes per-second bandwidth, and a message rate of over 137 million messages a second.

This scalability will be used to drive the discovery process across a broad range of research activities within the University. For example, the system will be used to design and test jet engines, design new drugs to fight cancer, and examine the fundamental nature of the nucleus of the atom.

One particular research group, headed up by Dr. Graham Pullan, has already developed GPU-optimised computational fluid dynamics software called "Turbostream" to model the air flow within jet engines which, when combined with the new GPU system, offers ground breaking capability in turbine research.

The GPU system is housed in a custom-developed "green data centre", which uses evaporative air-coolers and water heat-exchangers to further boost its environmental credentials. "Together, the cooling and processing systems behind Wilkes dramatically reduce the power consumption in the data centre, making the total facility one of the most energy-efficiency data centres in the world", Dr. Calleja stated. "Also, the new SKA development lab places the University at the forefront of large-scale, Big-Data platform development."

Maurice Wilkes was the man behind EDSAC, the first programmable computer to come into general use. Built in 1946, it put Cambridge at the forefront of the digital revolution. More than six decades later, this latest supercomputer, bearing Wilkes’ name, is destined to write the next chapter in that ongoing story.

The computer was designed in partnership with Dell, NVIDIA and Mellanox, and was part-funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rolls-Royce, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Source: University of Cambridge

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2013-12-16

The Cloud

How to offer wow in the Cloud? A unique book on the user experience provides help with service design ...

GreenButton launches WarpDrive for Cloud data transfers ...

NetApp introduces new all-flash array and performance-optimized enterprise storage systems ...

European Commission to issue report with Cloud standards ...

Alelo consolidates data centre and prepares for the Cloud with IBM PureSystems ...

EuroFlash

ISC'14 to issue Calls for tutorial proposals, research paper submissions and more ...

HPC Advisory Council and Swiss National Supercomputing Centre announce Switzerland Conference 2014 ...

IBM scientists demonstrate quantum phenomenon for the first time using a plastic film ...

DRIHM, a new EUDAT Associated Partner, collaborates to provide new services for citizen scientists ...

The University of Cambridge chooses Mellanox FDR InfiniBand to accelerate UK's fastest academic cluster and further space research ...

Minister for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos and Catalonian Regional Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, visit the Barcelona Supercomputing Center ...

Altair Engineering announces 7th European Altair Technology Conference - to be held in Munich, Germany from June 24-26, 2014 and invites customers and industry experts to submit presentation proposals ...

New supercomputer puts Bristol at the forefront of research ...

Super-fast and super-green: Cambridge unveils pioneering high-performance computer ...

USFlash

HPC Advisory Council announces HPCmusic subgroup ...

Qualcomm Technologies introduces Snapdragon 410 chipset with integrated 4G LTE World Mode for high-volume smartphones ...

Convey Computer's implementation of PacBioToCA algorithm speeds DNA sequence assembly, delivering up to fifteen times acceleration ...

Astrophysicists launch ambitious assessment of galaxy formation simulations ...

HP introduces innovations built for the data centre of the future ...

Third quarter HPC server revenues experience year-over-year decline as expected, following exceptional year-ago quarter, according to IDC ...

New York State awards University at Buffalo $1 million for supercomputer expansion ...

Iowa State-led team wins supercomputer time to study nuclear structures and reactions ...

Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 enhances support for Oracle Database 12c ...

Raritan adds new swappable sensor and mini plug-in sensor for monitoring data centre environments ...