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Primeur weekly 2017-02-20

Focus

HPC expert Genias Benelux to show its skillful expertise in brandnew website ...

Are billion Euro Flagships the right way to finance innovative areas like graphene, human brain research and quantum computing? ...

Exascale supercomputing

Advanced fusion code led by PPPL selected to participate in Early Science Programmes on three new DOE Office of Science pre-exascale supercomputers ...

Focus on Europe

From robotics to particle physics: Data analytics gets the spotlight in Distinguished Talk series at ISC 2017 ...

A new spin on electronics ...

Data mining tools for personalized cancer treatment ...

Why host HPC in Iceland to tackle Big Data for life sciences at Earlham Insititute ...

Biological experiments become transparent - anywhere, any time ...

Middleware

IBM delivers new platform to help clients address storage challenges at massive scale ...

Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveils most significant 3PAR Flash storage innovations to date ...

Hardware

Tokyo Institute of Technology partners with DDN on Tsubame3.0 to build forward-looking AI and Big Data computing infrastructure ...

Mellanox demonstrates four times improvement in crypto performance with Innova IPsec 40G Ethernet network adapter ...

Supermicro launches BigTwin - the industry's highest performing Twin multi-node system supporting the full range of CPUs, maximum memory and all-flash NVMe ...

Applications

Researchers catch extreme waves with higher-resolution modelling ...

Researchers are creating software to 'clean' large datasets, making it easier for scientists and the public to use Big Data ...

Designing new materials from 'small' data ...

Success by deception ...

DNA computer brings 'intelligent drugs' a step closer ...

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices ...

Perimeter Institute researchers apply machine learning to condensed matter physics ...

When treating brain aneurysms, two isn't always better than one ...

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers ...

Analyzing data for transportation systems using TACC's Rustler, XSEDE ECSS support ...

NCSA facilitates performance comparisons with China's nr. 1 supercomputer ...

IBM delivers Watson for cyber security to power cognitive security operations centres ...

The Cloud

Optimizing data centre placement and network design to strengthen Cloud computing ...

Dutch start-up solution impacts data centres ...

OpenFog Consortium releases landmark reference architecture for Fog computing ...

IBM brings machine learning to the private Cloud ...

IBM accelerates hybrid Cloud adoption by enabling channel partners to offer VMware solutions ...

Oracle launches Cloud service to help organisations integrate disparate data and drive real-time analytics ...

NCSA facilitates performance comparisons with China's nr. 1 supercomputer


William M. Tang
9 Feb 2017 Urbana-Champaign - China has topped supercomputer rankings on the international TOP500 list of fastest supercomputers for the past eight years. They have maintained this status with their newest supercomputer, Sunway TaihuLight, constructed entirely from Chinese processors.

While China's hardware has "come into its own", as Foreign Affairs wrote in August, no one can say objectively at present how fast this hardware can solve scientific problems compared to other leading systems around the world. This is because the computer is new - having made its debut in June, 2016.

Researchers were able to use seed funding provided through the Global Initiative to Enhance @scale and Distributed Computing and Analysis Technologies (GECAT) project administered by the National Center for Supercomputing Application's (NCSA) Blue Waters Project to port and run codes on leading computers around the world. GECAT is funded by the National Science Foundation's Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) programme, which focuses on fostering and strengthening interaction among scientists, engineers and educators around the globe. Shanghai Jiao Tong University and its NVIDIA Center of Excellence matched the NSF support for this seed project, and helped enable the collaboration to have unprecedented full access to Sunway TaihuLight and its system experts.

It takes time to transfer, or "port", scientific codes built to run on other supercomputer architectures, but an international, collaborative project has already started porting one major code used in plasma particle-in-cell simulations, GTC-P. The accomplishments made and the road towards completion were laid out in a recent paper that won "best application paper" from the HPC China 2016 Conference in October.

"While LINPACK is a well-established measure of supercomputing performance based on a linear algebra calculation, real world scientific application problems are really the only way to show how well a computer produces scientific discoveries", stated Bill Tang, lead co-author of the study and head of the Intel Parallel Computing Center at Princeton University. "Real @scale scientific applications are much more difficult to deploy than LINPACK for the purpose of comparing how different supercomputers perform, but it's worth the effort."

The GTC-P code chosen for porting to TaihuLight is a well-traveled code in supercomputing, in that it has already been ported to seven leading systems around the world - a process that ran from 2011 to 2014 when Bill Tang served as the U.S. principal investigator for the G8 Research Council's "Exascale Computing for Global Scale Issues" Project in Fusion Energy, or "NuFuSE". It was an international high-powered computing collaboration between the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Russia.

A major challenge that the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Princeton Universities collaborative team have already overcome is adapting the modern language (OpenACC-2) in which GTC-P was written, making it compatible with TaihuLight's "homegrown" compiler, SWACC. An early result from the adaptation is that the new TaihuLight processors were found to be about three times faster than a standard CPU processor. Bill Tang said the next step is to make the code work with a larger group of processors.

"If GTC-P can build on this promising start to engage a large fraction of the huge number of TaihuLight processors, we'll be able to move forward to show objectively how this impressive, new, number-one-ranking supercomputer stacks up to the rest of the supercomputing world", Bill Tang stated, adding that metrics like time to solution and associated energy to solution are key to the comparison.

"These are important metrics for policy makers engaged in deciding which kinds of architectures and associated hardware best merit significant investments", Bill Tang added.

The top seven supercomputers worldwide on which GTC-P can run well all have diverse hardware investments. For example, NCSA's Blue Waters has more memory bandwidth than other U.S. systems, while TaihuLight has clearly invested most heavily in powerful new processors.

As Bill Tang said recently in a technical programme presentation at the SC16 conference in Salt Lake City, improvements in the GTC-P code have for the first time enabled delivery of new scientific insights. These insights show complex electron dynamics at the scale of the upcoming ITER device, the largest fusion energy facility ever constructed.

"In the process of producing these new findings, we focused on realistic cross-machine comparison metrics, time and energy to solution", Bill Tang stated. "Moving into the future, it would be most interesting to be able to include TaihuLight in such studies."

Source: National Center for Supercomputing Applications - NCSA

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-02-20

Focus

HPC expert Genias Benelux to show its skillful expertise in brandnew website ...

Are billion Euro Flagships the right way to finance innovative areas like graphene, human brain research and quantum computing? ...

Exascale supercomputing

Advanced fusion code led by PPPL selected to participate in Early Science Programmes on three new DOE Office of Science pre-exascale supercomputers ...

Focus on Europe

From robotics to particle physics: Data analytics gets the spotlight in Distinguished Talk series at ISC 2017 ...

A new spin on electronics ...

Data mining tools for personalized cancer treatment ...

Why host HPC in Iceland to tackle Big Data for life sciences at Earlham Insititute ...

Biological experiments become transparent - anywhere, any time ...

Middleware

IBM delivers new platform to help clients address storage challenges at massive scale ...

Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveils most significant 3PAR Flash storage innovations to date ...

Hardware

Tokyo Institute of Technology partners with DDN on Tsubame3.0 to build forward-looking AI and Big Data computing infrastructure ...

Mellanox demonstrates four times improvement in crypto performance with Innova IPsec 40G Ethernet network adapter ...

Supermicro launches BigTwin - the industry's highest performing Twin multi-node system supporting the full range of CPUs, maximum memory and all-flash NVMe ...

Applications

Researchers catch extreme waves with higher-resolution modelling ...

Researchers are creating software to 'clean' large datasets, making it easier for scientists and the public to use Big Data ...

Designing new materials from 'small' data ...

Success by deception ...

DNA computer brings 'intelligent drugs' a step closer ...

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices ...

Perimeter Institute researchers apply machine learning to condensed matter physics ...

When treating brain aneurysms, two isn't always better than one ...

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers ...

Analyzing data for transportation systems using TACC's Rustler, XSEDE ECSS support ...

NCSA facilitates performance comparisons with China's nr. 1 supercomputer ...

IBM delivers Watson for cyber security to power cognitive security operations centres ...

The Cloud

Optimizing data centre placement and network design to strengthen Cloud computing ...

Dutch start-up solution impacts data centres ...

OpenFog Consortium releases landmark reference architecture for Fog computing ...

IBM brings machine learning to the private Cloud ...

IBM accelerates hybrid Cloud adoption by enabling channel partners to offer VMware solutions ...

Oracle launches Cloud service to help organisations integrate disparate data and drive real-time analytics ...