ExaScale is a 4-way Competition

ExaScale is a 4-way Competition

In this post-ISC show, the RadioFree team discusses

  • Magical cooling technology from Europe. Dan goes over magic beads that draw heat away and can carry-on doing it pretty much forever in a technology from the venerable Fraunhofer Institute and showcased by Lenovo.
  • How pursuit of ExaScale computing is turning into heated competition with the US, China, Japan, and Europe. The European effort is targeting 2 pre-exa installation in the coming months, and 2 actual ExaScale installations in the 2022-2023 timeframe at least one of which will be based on European technology. This presumably refers to the European Process Initiative.
    The software ecosystem is an important consideration and how they all evolve and whether or not they converge will be a big issue.
  • Another heated competition at the ISC Student Cluster Competition with the team from South Africa claiming the top spot. Dan has developed an efficiency metric that he will unveil in a future episode. This could separate the prowess of the team from that of the system!

Catch of the Week

Henry:

Henry point out the challenge for customers when the company that breached their data goes out of business.

Collections Firm Behind LabCorp, Quest Breaches Files for Bankruptcy

A medical billing firm responsible for a recent eight-month data breach that exposed the personal information on nearly 20 million Americans has filed for bankruptcy, citing “enormous expenses” from notifying affected consumers and the loss of its four largest customers.

 

Shahin:

Shahin highlights a paper on the beginnings of the programming language APL. A cool historical account.

The Socio-Technical Beginnings of APL, by Eugene McDonnell

This paper gives some of the history of implementations of APL, and concentrates on the system aspects of these implementations, paying special attention to the evolution of the workspace concept, the time-sharing scheduling strategy, and the handling of the terminal. It contrasts the development of APL with the development of other time-sharing systems which were being built at the same time.

Dan:

Dan relays the sad story of the multi-year demise of a the honor bar at the hotel near ISC.

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Amdahl’s Law and GPUs, Asian Student Cluster Competition

Results of the Asian Student Cluster Competition

In this episode, Dan has just come back from China and reviews the results of the Asian Student Cluster Competition and HPC workshop.
For the first time, a non-mainland-Chinese team wins the top spot. Taiwan takes the gold in part by their stellar performance in HPCG benchmark where they achieved 2 TFlops, some 25% better than the 2nd best team. The system was a 5-node cluster with Infiniband FDR interconnect. Other interesting info is shared on various codes and configurations.

GPUs and Amdahl’s Law

Dan also mentions that reports from some of the TOP500 sites suggest that GPUs are doing 93-97% of the computation. This sounds very impressive but Shahin points out that since GPUs have hundreds of cores, they should be doing much better, that 93-97% is in fact not as good as it should be at that scale of system and problem size. He is still waiting for some actual utilization data on GPUs too.

Catch of the Week

Henry:

Henry points out many security cameras, offered by several brands but are all manufactured by the same vendor back in China, have big time vulnerabilities so he’s staying away from all of them until further notice. Shahin wonders why they are called “security” cameras!

P2P Weakness Exposes Millions of IoT Devices

A peer-to-peer (P2P) communications technology built into millions of security cameras and other consumer electronics includes several critical security flaws that expose the devices to eavesdropping, credential theft and remote compromise, new research has found.

Shahin:

Shahin talks about Jaguar-Land Rover planning to offer a cryptocurrency wallet to reward drivers that participate in providing traffic and other types of data. He likes their catch phrase: zero emission, zero accident, zero congestion.

Drivers will be able to earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using innovative connected car services being tested by Jaguar Land Rover.

 

Dan:

Dan laments the confiscation of his external camera battery at the airport in China because the spec label was a little worn off and the authorities could not read it to ascertain its safety despite his willingness to get a note from the airline, etc.  Nice expensive battery, but at a medium-sized paperback book, maybe following the rules strictly is not a bad idea.

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