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Primeur weekly 2017-06-26

Focus

China's effort on HPC in the next 5 years - from exascale prototypes to exascale system ...

Crowd computing

BOINC Monitor 9.70 released ...

Focus on Europe

Eight Irish Supercomputer List: Irish HPC capacity more than doubles again ...

Memorandum of Understanding signed between CHPC and PRACE ...

GENCI to boost France scientific competitiveness and industrial innovation with new petascale supercomputer ...

Huawei inaugurates the HPC Global Center of Excellence ...

Hardware

Universal ultra high-dense and 'hot water' cooled RSC Tornado solution: ready to support Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family, world's first Intel Omni-Path fabric based and 100% 'hot water' liquid cooled switches, improved RSC BasIS functionality ...

NVMe Revision 1.3 expands reach of fast storage for Enterprise, Client, and Cloud power users ...

DDN Storage named to elite $1 billion+ valuation "Storage Unicorn" list ...

Verne Global sets strategic roadmap to manage advanced computing requirements ...

Cisco and NetApp advance digital transformation with software-defined converged infrastructure solution for the next generation data centre ...

Cisco unveils network of the future that can learn, adapt and evolve ...

New Supermicro X11 SuperBlade boosts I/O performance featuring Intel Omni-Path fabric ...

Supermicro announces full portfolio of A+ server solutions optimized for new high-performance AMD EPYC processors ...

Mellanox interconnect solutions scale deep learning platforms to world-leading performance ...

Mellanox Ethernet and InfiniBand chosen by AMD as the preferred interconnect solutions to accelerate new EPYC data centre platforms ...

Applications

Shape and size of DNA lesions caused by toxic agents affects repair of DNA ...

SDSC's Comet is a key resource in new global dark matter experiment ...

New computing system takes its cues from human brain ...

Blue Brain team discovers a multi-dimensional universe in brain networks ...

Machine learning and high performance computing for industrial applications ...

Modelling the brain with Lego bricks ...

How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome ...

The Cloud

European Commission to set up new High Level Expert Group 2017-18 for the European Open Science Cloud ...

Huawei releases HPC Cloud solution 2.0 ...

New computing system takes its cues from human brain


This is a graph with six nodes and three colours. Credit: Georgia Tech
12 Jun 2017 Atlanta - Some problems are so challenging to solve that even the most advanced computers need weeks, not seconds, to process them. Now a team of researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Notre Dame has created a new computing system that aims to tackle one of computing's hardest problems in a fraction of the time.

"We wanted to find a way to solve a problem without using the normal binary representations that have been the backbone of computing for decades", stated Arijit Raychowdhury, an associate professor in Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Their new system employs a network of electronic oscillators to solve graph colouring tasks - a type of problem that tends to choke modern computers.

Details of the study were published April 19 in the journal http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00825-1 . The research was conducted with support from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the Center for Low Energy Systems Technology.

"Applications today are demanding faster and faster computers to help solve challenges like resource allocation, machine learning and protein structure analysis - problems which at their core are closely related to graph coloring", Arijit Raychowdhury stated. "But for the most part, we've reached the limitations of modern digital computer processors. Some of these problems that are so computationally difficult to perform, it could take a computer several weeks to solve."

A graph colouring problem starts with a graph - a visual representation of a set of objects connected in some way. To solve the problem, each object must be assigned a colour, but two objects directly connected cannot share the same colour. Typically, the goal is to colour all objects in the graph using the smallest number of different colours.

In designing a system different from traditional transistor-based computing, the researchers took their cues from the human brain, where processing is handled collectively, such as a neural oscillatory network, rather than with a central processor.

"It's the notion that there is tremendous power in collective computing", stated Suman Datta, Chang Family professor in Notre Dame's College of Engineering and one of the study's co-authors. "In natural forms of computing, dynamical systems with complex interdependencies evolve rapidly and solve complex sets of equations in a massively parallel fashion."

The electronic oscillators, fabricated from vanadium dioxide, were found to have a natural ability that could be harnessed for graph coloring problems. When a group of oscillators were electrically connected via capacitive links, they automatically synchronized to the same frequency - oscillating at the same rate. Meanwhile, oscillators directly connected to one another would operate at different phases within the same frequency, and oscillators in the same group but not directly connected would sync in both frequency and phase.

"If you suppose that each phase represents a different colour, this system was essentially mimicking naturally the solution to a graph colouring problem", stated Arijit Raychowdhury, who is also the ON Semiconductor Junior Professor at Georgia Tech.

The researchers were able to create a small network of oscillators to solve graph colouring problems with the same number of objects, which are also referred to as nodes or vertices. But even more significant, the new system theoretically proved that a connection existed between graph colouring and the natural dynamics of coupled oscillatory systems.

"This is a critical step because we can prove why this is happening and that it covers all possible instances of graphs", Arijit Raychowdhury stated. "This opens up a new way of performative computation and constructing novel computational models. This is novel in that it's a physics-based computing approach, but it also presents tantalizing opportunities for building other customized analog systems for solving hard problems efficiently."

That could be valuable to a range of companies looking for computers to help optimize their resources, such as a power utility wanting to maximize efficiency and usage of a vast electrical grid under certain constraints.

"This work provides one of the first constructive ways to build continuous time dynamical system solvers for a combinatorial optimization problem with a working demonstration using compact scalable post-CMOS devices", stated Abhinav Parihar, a Georgia Tech student who worked on the project.

The next step would be building a larger network of oscillators that could handle graph colouring problems with more objects at play.

"Our goal is to reach a system with hundreds of oscillators, which would put us in striking distance of developing a computing substrate that could solve graph coloring problems whose optimal solutions are not yet known to mankind", Suman Datta stated.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1640081, the Semiconductor Research Corporation under research task Nos. 2698.001 and 2698.002, and the Office of Naval Research under award No. N00014-11-1-0665.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-06-26

Focus

China's effort on HPC in the next 5 years - from exascale prototypes to exascale system ...

Crowd computing

BOINC Monitor 9.70 released ...

Focus on Europe

Eight Irish Supercomputer List: Irish HPC capacity more than doubles again ...

Memorandum of Understanding signed between CHPC and PRACE ...

GENCI to boost France scientific competitiveness and industrial innovation with new petascale supercomputer ...

Huawei inaugurates the HPC Global Center of Excellence ...

Hardware

Universal ultra high-dense and 'hot water' cooled RSC Tornado solution: ready to support Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family, world's first Intel Omni-Path fabric based and 100% 'hot water' liquid cooled switches, improved RSC BasIS functionality ...

NVMe Revision 1.3 expands reach of fast storage for Enterprise, Client, and Cloud power users ...

DDN Storage named to elite $1 billion+ valuation "Storage Unicorn" list ...

Verne Global sets strategic roadmap to manage advanced computing requirements ...

Cisco and NetApp advance digital transformation with software-defined converged infrastructure solution for the next generation data centre ...

Cisco unveils network of the future that can learn, adapt and evolve ...

New Supermicro X11 SuperBlade boosts I/O performance featuring Intel Omni-Path fabric ...

Supermicro announces full portfolio of A+ server solutions optimized for new high-performance AMD EPYC processors ...

Mellanox interconnect solutions scale deep learning platforms to world-leading performance ...

Mellanox Ethernet and InfiniBand chosen by AMD as the preferred interconnect solutions to accelerate new EPYC data centre platforms ...

Applications

Shape and size of DNA lesions caused by toxic agents affects repair of DNA ...

SDSC's Comet is a key resource in new global dark matter experiment ...

New computing system takes its cues from human brain ...

Blue Brain team discovers a multi-dimensional universe in brain networks ...

Machine learning and high performance computing for industrial applications ...

Modelling the brain with Lego bricks ...

How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome ...

The Cloud

European Commission to set up new High Level Expert Group 2017-18 for the European Open Science Cloud ...

Huawei releases HPC Cloud solution 2.0 ...