RFHPC152: AI, Ethics, and Self-Driving Cars

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team learns about Henry’s first exploit as an Ethical Superhero.

“After witnessing a hit-and-run fender bender, Henry confronted the culprit and ensured that the miscreant left a note on the victim’s windshield. And while we applaud Henry for his heroism, we are also very grateful that he was not shot in the process. This tale leads us into a discussion of AI ethics and how we won’t have this problem in the coming era of self-driving cars.”

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

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RFHPC151: Cray Urika-GX Brings Graph Computing to Alan Turing Institute

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at why the Alan Turing Institute is focusing on Graph Computing with their acquisition of a Cray Urika-GX supercomputer.

‘Hosted at the University of Edinburgh in the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), the Cray Urika-GX system will provide researchers at the Alan Turing Institute with a dedicated analytics hardware platform, enabling the development of advanced applications across a number of scientific fields including engineering and technology, defense and security, smart cities, financial services and life sciences.”

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

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RFHPC150: Why Drive Writes Per Day matter for SSDs

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at why Drive Writes Per Day are such an important metric for acquiring the right kind of SSD for your particular workload.

Drive writes per day (DWPD) is an endurance rating that manufacturers of NAND flash storage provide their customers. … DWPD will vary, depending upon whether the storage is intended for consumer or enterprise use. Consumer use solid state drives (SSDs) have a fixed endurance rating and capacity.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin likes a new BBC documentary on the #1 Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer in China.

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RFHPC149: A Rundown of ISC 2017 Student Cluster Competition Results

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks back at the recent ISC 2017 conference and summarizes results from Student Cluster Competition.

Eleven student teams were on the show floor this year, vying against each other for the top honors in the sixth annual ISC Student Cluster Competition. Tsinghua University from China emerged as the Overall Competition Winner, thus marking their third win in the contest. They had the honor of receiving their trophy from Wednesday keynote speaker, Professor Thomas Sterling.

The second place was captured by the South African team hosted by CHPC, and the third place went to Beihang University, also from China. The Fan Favorite Award went to Universitat Politècnica De Catalunya from Barcelona, who garnered over 2,100 ISC 2017 participant votes to win the title for the second year in a row. The High Linpack award went to competitors from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen in Nuremberg.

The three-day competition was co-organized with the HPC Advisory Council. If you are interested in applying for the 2018 competition, please contact the organizers at scc@isc-events.com.

Brent Gorda with his red Motoguzzi and Rich Brueckner with his bike dubbed “The Mighty One.”

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin likes our recent insideHPC post on IBM’s TrueNorth AI chip coming to ARL. IBM is collaborating with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on a first-of-a-kind brain-inspired supercomputing system powered by a 64-chip array of the IBM TrueNorth Neurosynaptic System. The scalable platform IBM is building for AFRL will feature an end-to-end software ecosystem designed to enable deep neural-network learning and information discovery.
  • Dan reminisces on his youth where he bought an entire minivan full of fireworks for the 4th of July.
  • Rich tells the tale of his Lustre Motorcycle Tour through the Alps. The GoPro camera footage from the trip is amazing. He followed that trip up with three days at the PASC17 conference.

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RFHPC147: A Look at the Latest TOP500

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. It’s Day 1 here at the ISC 2017 conference, and we’ll be keeping you posted on all the news as the show goes June 18-22 in Frankfurt, Germany.


After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Student Cluster Competition Update: The student team from NUDT in China has Visa troubles, so they will not be able to participate this week in Frankfurt. That reduces the field to 11 international teams.
  • What’s up with the Aurora supercomputer that was supposed to come to Argonne next year? Rich has the scoop.

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RFHPC146: Day-by-Day Preview of ISC 2017 in Frankfurt

In this podcast, Rich gives us a day-by-day preview of the upcoming ISC 2017 conference. The event takes place June 18-22 in Frankfurt, Germany.

“ISC High Performance focuses on HPC technological development and its application in scientific fields, as well as its adoption in commercial environments. In 2017 we offer you 13 fascinating HPC topics grouped under three categories: systems, applications, and emerging topics. All topics will be addressed in different power-packed sessions. The ISC tutorials, workshops and the exhibition will complement these sessions.”

Friday, June 16

  • HP-CAST is the high performance user group meeting for HPE customers and partners. Over 300 attendees are expected for the two-day meeting, which you can read about here on insideHPC.

Saturday, June 17

  • The Student Cluster Competition teams begins their system buildout at the Frankfurt Messe. An exhibitor pass is required for entry to the hall.
  • HP-CAST Day 2 has a focus on partner sessions.

Sunday, June 18

Monday, June 19

Tuesday, June 20

  • Exhibits 10-6
  • DDN User Group, 12:30pm – 5:00pm at the Movenpick Hotel

Wednesday, June 21

  • Exhibits 10-6
  • Student Cluster Awards Ceremony

Thursday, June 22

  • Workshops all day at the Marriott
  • Women in HPC Workshop 9:00am – 1:00pm
  • Dell HPC Community meeting, 8:00am – 3:00pm. The Dell EMC HPC Community event will feature keynote presentations by HPC experts and a networking breakfast to discuss best practices in the use of Dell EMC HPC Systems.
  • Rich heads out for Motorcycle tour of the Alps

Monday, June 26-28

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Dan interviews Carolyn Posti from Redline on the topic of HPC Benchmarking
  • Rich buys an Antminer S7 for mining Bitcoins

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RFHPC145: Touring the 100 Megawatt SuperNAP Datacenter

In this podcast, Rich gives us the lowdown on his recent tour of the SuperNAP datacenter in Las Vegas. Run by Switch, the campus has over up to 2.4 million sqare feet of Tier IV Gold data center space with 315 Megawatts of datacenter capacity.

“Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Switch is built on the intelligent and sustainable growth of the Internet. Its Founder and CEO, Rob Roy, developed more than 260 patent and patent-pending claims covering data center designs that manifested into their world-renowned data centers and their technology solution ecosystems.”

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin is impressed with ARM’s new Cortex A75 chips. “This is the first set of processing components designed specifically to tackle the challenges of onboard AI and machine learning.”
  • Dan notes that Google is possibly facing a $9 Billion fine from EU antitrust regulators for allegedly manipulating search results on its shopping service.
  • Dan also points us to a story on how the Bank of Canada is not sold on the concept of underpinning payment systems
    using Blockchain technology.

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RFHPC144: Henry’s Trip to Best Buy

In this podcast, Henry goes on a shopping spree at Best Buy. His mom was moving into a new place, so he got her all-new electronics to the tune of $1624. Is Henry a good son or did he go cheap? We’ll find out.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

Rich notes that recent reports about the Aurora supercomputer were incorrect. Rick Borchelt from DoE: “On the record, Aurora contract is not cancelled.”

Shahin has been trying to keep up with the boom in cryptocurrency, which now has a market cap of something like $91 Billion dollars.

Dan is excited that Hitachi has stopped building its own mainframes but will supply IBM z Systems loaded with Hitachi VOS3 operating system software.

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RFHPC143: A Look at Google’s TPU Tensor Processing Unit

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the announcements coming from Google IO conference. Of particular interest was their second-generation TensorFlow Processing Unit (TPU2).

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin discusses some details about the new prototype of HPE’s The Machine“The prototype unveiled today contains 160 terabytes (TB) of memory, capable of simultaneously working with the data held in every book in the Library of Congress five times over—or approximately 160 million books. It has never been possible to hold and manipulate whole data sets of this size in a single-memory system, and this is just a glimpse of the immense potential of Memory-Driven Computing.”
  • Rich points us to the launch of the new Emerging Woman Leader in Technical Computing Award. Sponsored by SIGHPC, the award will be presented every two years, with the first presentation in November during SC17.
  • Dan is excited by the rebirth of the OS/2 operating system. The Arca OS 5.0 operating system lets you run OS/2 applications today on modern hardware.
  • Quantum Computing vendor D-Wave Systems announced a $50 Million round of new funding.

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RFHPC142: A Look at the New Nvidia Volta GPUs

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at Volta, Nvidia’s new GPU architecture that delivers up to 5x the performance of its predecessor.

At the GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang introduced a lineup of new Volta-based AI supercomputers including a powerful new version of our DGX-1 deep learning appliance; announced the Isaac robot-training simulator; unveiled the NVIDIA GPU Cloud platform, giving developers access to the latest, optimized deep learning frameworks; and unveiled a partnership with Toyota to help build a new generation of autonomous vehicles.

Built with 21 billion transistors, the newly announced Volta V100 “delivers deep learning performance equal to 100 CPUs.” Representing an investment by NVIDIA of more than $3 billion, the processor is built “at the limits of photolithography,” Huang told the crowd.

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