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HIGH-PERFORMANCE COMPUTING


Telecoms research sped up with GPUs


Cognitive radio researchers at Trinity College, Dublin have increased the speed of their simulations using multicore computation and GPUs. The research team at the CTVR telecommunications research centre, based at Trinity College Dublin, are developing algorithms for building future phone networks that can organise themselves. Traditionally, cellular phone companies like Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile bid against each other for exclusive access to radio ‘spectrum’. It is a slow and expensive process that


often ends up with spectrum being under used. The research team at CTVR are exploring ways to avoid the need to carve up spectrum in advance. To test their algorithms, the researchers needed to build a simulation model to show they would work in practice. ‘To test our algorithms, we wanted to simulate a reasonably-sized network and try out many different combinations of transmitters and receivers to be sure that equilibrium is reached in all cases,’ said researcher Dr Irene Macaluso. ‘A “reasonably sized


IBM TO ACQUIRE PLATFORM COMPUTING


IBM has entered into a defi nitive agreement to acquire Platform Computing, the provider of cluster and grid management software for distributed computing environments. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. By combining Platform Computing’s software with IBM high performance systems and software, IBM can better serve enterprise clients who are turning to technical computing to reduce


the cost and complexity of managing and analysing massive amounts of data in a timely fashion.


‘IBM considers the acquisition of Platform Computing to be a strategic element for the transformation of HPC into the high growth segment of technical computing and an important part of our smarter computing strategy,’ said Helene Armitage, general manager, IBM Systems Software. ‘This acquisition can be leveraged across IBM as we enhance our IBM offerings and solutions.’


ISC Cloud Conference set to continue


ISC Events has announced a third Cloud Computing conference in 2012, highlighting the use of clouds for HPC and big data in research and industrial environments. More than 150 IT managers representing industrial and research organisations from 21 countries convened at the Dorint Hotel, Mannheim on 26 to 27 September to hear from leading HPC and cloud experts about their experience with designing, building, managing and using clouds. A survey conducted during the conference revealed that 66 per cent


16 SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING WORLD


of the participants were motivated to attend due to the extensive conference programme and 45 per cent were encouraged by the networking opportunities offered by the event. The overall satisfaction increased compared to 2010, mainly due to the more profound focus on HPC topics and the increasing practical approach. The evening reception in the vineyard of Dr Bürklin-Wolf in the Pfalz offered a further opportunity to network with other participants and to continue the thematic discussions, also with the experts.


network” means individual testing of many hundreds of thousands of cases and our typical analyses could take several days using sequential programs.’


The CTVR team used Xcelerit’s


software development kit to split the tasks over the multiple processor cores. Xcelerit provides software tools to make many-core processors accessible to mainstream programmers.


On a PEER 1 system with two Intel


Xeon E5620 CPUs it was possible to speed up the code by a factor of 13 compared to a sequential


implementation using a single CPU core. When two Nvidia Tesla M2050 GPUs were added, speedups of 140x were recorded without further code changes. ‘This meant that some of our simpler computations were completing in under a second and our typical simulations went from 35 hours down to just 15 minutes,’ said Dr Macaluso. ‘Sourcing the extra compute horse-power from the cloud was great because we had no lead time for new hardware and we can rent it whenever we need it in future.’


Budapest centre acquires


supercomputing solution The National Information Infrastructre Development (NIIF) Institute in Budapest, has invested in a combined SGI Altix UV 1000 and SGI Altix ICE 8400 supercomputing solution. The NIIF Institute is running a program that serves as a framework for the development and operation of the research network throughout Hungary. NIIF Institute’s shared IT infrastructure is used by many of the country’s leading higher education and academic research establishments for a wide range of computing-intensive applications, including many self- developed codes. The NIIF Institute’s distributed supercomputing infrastructure consists of four main centres in the University


The Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) has joined the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) and has received $121 million of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US. XSEDE, which was formed in July 2011, is a partnership of 17 organisations launched to provide scientists in the US from all disciplines with easy access


of Debrecen, Pécs University, University of Szeged and at NIIF. ‘We were looking to upgrade computing power with an architecture including both cluster and shared memory computing to meet the diverse requirements of our academic users, while also meeting strict targets for reduced power consumption,’ said Dr Tamas Maray, technical director at NIIF Institute. ‘With the new SGI supercomputing infrastructure we are able to serve the needs of domestic basic research, as well as keep up with other countries in the context of the evolving European Research Area and the EU-funded integrated European supercomputing infrastructure.’


Jülich Supercomputing Centre joins XSEDE


to most advanced digital resources. XSEDE will be developed under the leadership of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Research Centre Jülich has been selected as the only non-US partner. It will contribute the Unicore software that is developed and supported as open source software under the direction of Jülich’s JSC.


www.scientific-computing.com


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