The sinking of the Itanic, a respectful farewell

Our conversation begins with Dan berating Henry for cheaping out on a new headset for our Radio Free HPC recordings. (Henry has since relented and pried open his wallet to purchase a truly fine headset.)

Finally, we get on to the show proper. After years of futility, Intel has finally put a stake in the heart of their Itanium processor. The final shipment will take place in 2021. The boys discuss some Itanium history and reasons behind the end of the processor. Shahin gives us a tutorial on the history of 64 bit computing and we discuss the chip wars in general.

Following a respectful farewell to Itanium and all that it offered, we moved on to discuss how the European exascale effort is shaping up. Recent news articles are discussing how countries in the European Union are ganging up in an effort to win the honor of hosting the fastest supercomputer in Europe. The first consortium consists of Nordic countries Finland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, plus the Czech Republic, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Two of the advantages these countries have are power costs that are half of the European average, along with temperatures to match (which will help with cooling).

The guys talk about what the term ‘pre-exascale’ really means. Is it a 100 PB system? 200 PB? 300 PB? Tune into the broadcast to hear the thrilling answer. We also discuss the composition of the machine in terms of processors and accelerators.

Catch of the Week

Henry’s Catch of the Week confirms his distain for all things crypto currency related. A Canadian bitcoin exchange president dies suddenly and takes his password to his grave, taking with him the coins of more than 100,000 users said to total more than $130 million US. Henry is vindicated and Dan heartily agrees with him and piles on with “I hope Bitcoin goes below zero.” Shahin defends Bitcoin and Blockchain in general.

Shahin shares a game called The Last Man, where people compete to become the last person to learn about an event, such as who won the Superbowl.

Dan’s Catch of the Week is led by the admission that his comprehension of quantum computing is fleeting at best. Sometimes he gets it, and other times he doesn’t. Something that might help him get over the quantum hump is a series of comic books published by the NSF’s EPiQC that cover quantum computing history and how it works.

Be sure to download this episode of Radio Free HPC, you could be our 16th listener!

Download the MP3 * Subscribe on iTunes * RSS Feed

Sign up for our insideHPC Newsletter

Weather Forecasting Goes Crowdsourcing, Q means Quantum

In this episode of Radio Free HPC, Dan, Henry, and Shahin start with a spirited discussion of IBM’s recent announcement regarding their crowd sourced weather prediction application. Henry was dubious as to whether Big Blue could get access to the data they need in order to truly put out a valuable product. Dan had questions about the value of the crowd sourced data and how it could be scrubbed in order to be useful. Shahin was pretty favorable towards IBM’s plans and believes that they will solve the problems that Henry and Dan raised.

IBM came up again in the show as the boys kick around IBM’s quantum computing commercial system. Shahin brought out the point that for a market that has few applications and success stories, it attracted nearly every big vendor in the business.

Catch of the Week:

Henry told the guys about a new security flaw as pointed out by Krebs, this one concerning an exploit of credit cards.

Shahin talked about the newly proposed Deep500 benchmark, designed to compare deep learning and inference performance.

Dan discussed a recent interview with a VC who believed that by 2035, more than 40% of jobs world wide would be taken over by AI. This prompted a discussion of how technology has impacted employment and the economy in the past and how the accelerating pace of economic displacement in the era of AI is much quicker than in any other time.

We end the episode by denouncing attorneys.

Download the MP3 * Subscribe on iTunes * RSS Feed

Sign up for our insideHPC Newsletter