RFHPC133: Dan’s Daughter Gives us the Scoop from Washington, D.C.

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team hosts Dan’s daughter Elizabeth. How did Dan get this way? We’re on a mission to find out even as Elizabeth complains of the early onset of Curmudgeon’s Syndrome. Somehow she has turned out well, though, and has a great gig with an Oil company in Washington, D.C., so we also get her take on what is going on in the Nation’s capital.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

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RFHPC132: A Look at the Posit and Next Generation Computer Arithmetic

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team discusses a recent presentation by John Gustafson on Next Generation Computer Arithmetic.

“A new data type called a “posit” is designed for direct drop-in replacement for IEEE Standard 754 floats. Unlike unum arithmetic, posits do not require interval-type mathematics or variable size operands, and they round if an answer is inexact, much the way floats do. However, they provide compelling advantages over floats, including simpler hardware implementation that scales from as few as two-bit operands to thousands of bits. For any bit width, they have a larger dynamic range, higher accuracy, better closure under arithmetic operations, and simpler exception-handling. For example, posits never overflow to infinity or underflow to zero, and there is no “Not-a-Number” (NaN) value. Posits should take up less space to implement in silicon than an IEEE float of the same size. With fewer gate delays per operation as well as lower silicon footprint, the posit operations per second (POPS) supported by a chip can be significantly higher than the FLOPs using similar hardware resources. GPU accelerators, in particular, could do more arithmetic per watt and per dollar yet deliver superior answer quality.”

Watch the presentation video

After that, do our Catch of the Week:

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RFHPC131: A Look at VW, Bosch and Dieselgate

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at recent developments in the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal. According to reports, auto parts supplier Bosch wrote the software for VW that enabled the company’s diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. We know because Bosch asked VW for indemnity back in 2006.

In other news:

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Henry points us to a Register story that the Soros Group has purchased Violin Memory for $14 Million. What does a hedge fund want with a flash memory company? Rich and Dan think it’s a patent play.
  • Shahin points us to the story about a Chimera story about how scientists are injecting human stem cells into pigs in order to harvest organs that will not be rejected by the human immune system.
  • Dan is looking into EGPUs for accelerating desktop video applications. He can’t seem to get his enclosure working with Windows 10.
  • Rich points us to the news that Hexagon AB from Sweden is purchasing MSC Software.
  • Rich also provides a quick preview of the HPC Advisory Council Stanford Conference, which starts Tuesday, February 7 in Palo Alto. Our own Shahin Khan of OrionX will be one of the featured speakers. His talk is entitled: Industry Insights: Hot Technology Topics in 2017.

Abstract: From BitCoins and AltCoins to Design Thinking, Autonomous tech and the changing nature of jobs, IoT and cyber risk, and the impact of application architecture on cloud computing, we’ll touch on some of the hottest technologies in 2017 that are changing the world and how HPC will be the engine that drives it.

Download the Full Conference Program for the HPC Advisory Council Stanford Conference. Register now.

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RFHPC130: A Q&A with Henry’s Mom, Plus a Look at The UberCloud’s New Round of Funding

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team speaks to our special guest for the week: Binnie Coppersmith, also known as Henry’s Mom. It’s Binnie’s 80th birthday, and Dan wants to know once and for all if Henry is an alien, or at least why he is the way he is. It’s a heart-warming story to be sure, and we even find out how Henry almost became the ambassador to some far off country.

After that, we look at the good news that The UberCloud has received $1.7 Million in Pre-A Series funding. It’s great news for HPC in the Cloud.

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RFHPC129: Cray Looks to ARM HPC

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at two hot stories from last week:

Cray to Develop ARM-based Isambard Supercomputer for UK Met Office. The GW4 Alliance, together with Cray and the UK Met Office, has been awarded £3m by EPSRC to deliver a new Tier 2 HPC service for UK-based scientists. This unique new service, named ‘Isambard’ after the renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, will provide multiple advanced architectures within the same system in order to enable evaluation and comparison across a diverse range of hardware platforms.

Steve Pawlowski presentation from Persistent Memory Summit“As data proliferation continues to explode, computing architectures are struggling to get the right data to the processor efficiently, both in terms of time and power. But what if the best solution to the problem is not faster data movement, but new architectures that can essentially move the processing instructions into the data? Persistent memory arrays present just such an opportunity. Like any significant change, however, there are challenges and obstacles that must be overcome. Industry veteran Steve Pawlowski will outline a vision for the future of computing and why persistent memory systems have the potential to be more revolutionary than perhaps anyone imagines.” 

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RFHPC128: Quantum Software Goes Open Source

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at D-Wave’s new open source software for quantum computing. The software is available on github along with a whitepaper written by Cray Research alums Mike Booth and Steve Reinhardt.

D-Wave Systems released the open-source, quantum software tool as part of its strategic initiative to build and foster a quantum software development ecosystem. The new tool, qbsolv, enables developers to build higher-level tools and applications leveraging the quantum computing power of systems provided by D-Wave, without the need to understand the complex physics of quantum computers.

Just as a software ecosystem helped to create the immense computing industry that exists today, building a quantum computing industry will require software accessible to the developer community,” said Bo Ewald, president, D-Wave International Inc. “D-Wave is building a set of software tools that will allow developers to use their subject-matter expertise to build tools and applications that are relevant to their business or mission. By making our tools open source, we expand the community of people working to solve meaningful problems using quantum computers.”

 After that, we do the Catch of the Week: 

  • Shahin points us to the story about the miniaturization of accelerometers that could help with motion sickness and thus save lives.
  • Hater Dan shares the story that users are suing the Apple Store for being a Monopoly.
  • Rich notes that Cray has announced the appointment of Stathis Papaefstathiou to the position of senior vice president of research and development. He fills the slot vacated by Peg Williams, who will retire.

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RFHPC127: Technologies We’re Looking Forward to in 2017

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team shares the things we’re looking forward to in 2017.

  • Shahin is looking forward to the iPhone 8. Henry and Dan will stick with Android. Shahin is also actively watching for much needed advancements in IoT security.
  • Henry is looking forward to storage innovations and camera technologies in the fight against crime. He also heralds the return of specialized processing devices for specific application worksloads. 
  • Dan thinks the continuing technology wars between processors and GPUs and Omni-Path vs InfiniBand are great theater.
  • Rich is looking forward to traveling to a great set conferences in the first half of the year. He has just updated the insideHPC Events Calendar with the lion’s share of major HPC events for 2017.

After that, we each share our Catch of the Week:

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RFHPC126: The Festivus Airing of Grievances for 2016

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team honors the Festivus tradition of the annual Airing of Grievances.

After that, we each share our Catch of the Week:

  • Henry notes that the hackers have set their sights on investment bank lawyers who have prior knowledge of future acquisitions.
  • Shahin was intrigued by the recent Leap Second that keeps our time in sync with the universe.
  • Rich points us to the intriguing SAGE project for Exascale that using something called Precipient Storage.
  • Dan is struggling to process his video files now that he has moved to a 4K camera.

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RFHPC124: The Future of the OS

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the future of Operating Systems in the new world of computing.

After that, we go round-robin for our Catch of the Week:

  • Henry is on the lookout for big changes in Net Neutrality that could leave some states out in the cold when it comes to big bandwidth.
  • Rich reports that the DOE’s Exascale Compute Project has made some changes to their strategic plan that call for the first Exascale system based on a “novel architecture” in 2021.
  • Shahin points us to the story of a dinosaur tail (with feathers) that has been found embedded in amber.
  • Dan notes that Mark Zuckerberg has made a move to keep his control of Facebook should he accept a job in politics.

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