This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Future clears for HPC

Global investment in high-performance computing is being ramped up in the headlong march towards Exascale, writes Robert Roe


he high-performance computing sector finished the year on a high with the announcement in November, by the US Department

of Energy, that it was to spend $425 million in developing supercomputers that will leapfrog the international competition and open up the way to Exascale machines. It went some way to compensate for the news that, for the fourth consecutive time a Chinese system held the top spot in the Top500, the bi-annual list of the fastest supercomputers in the world, also announced in November. A further boost came in the UK, in

December – albeit not this time on hardware but on the application of supercomputers – when the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that, despite cutbacks elsewhere in public spending, the Government intended to spend £113 million on a Cognitive Computing Research Centre at the Hartree Centre, Daresbury,

to substantially expand the data-centric cognitive computing research capabilities there. Significantly, the Hartree Centre works in collaboration with IBM, which is the lead company in the consortium to build the two new US supercomputers that have been announced. Te bid to re-establish US leadership in

the field of high-performance computing came in the form of an announcement, by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, that two machines will be built at a cost of $325 million, one at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge and one at its Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A third machine will be built at Argonne National Laboratory, but that announcement has been deferred. Te new US machines will not come on

line until 2017 and so, for the moment, the Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, has no rivals for its position as

the world’s top system with a performance of 33.86 petaflops. In fact, there was little change among the ranking of the world’s top 10 supercomputers in the latest edition of Top500. Te only new entry was at number 10 – a 3.57-petaflop Cray Storm system installed at an undisclosed US government site. Although the United States remains the

top country in terms of overall systems with 231, this number is down from 233 in June 2014 and down from 265 on the November 2013 list. Te US is nearing an historically low number of systems on the list. In contrast, the number of European systems rose to 130, up from 116 last June, while the number of systems across Asia dropped from 132 to 120. Te number of Chinese systems on the list also dropped, now at 61, compared to 76 in June 2014. Over the same period, Japan increased its number of systems from 30 to 32. Tis lag in the overall average

Dona Crawford, associate director for computation, in front of the Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 20 SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING WORLD @scwmagazine l

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32