RFHPC193: Results from the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team reviews the results of the ASC 2018 Student Cluster Competition.

“The ASC 2018 Student Supercomputer Challenge finalist were announced on March 20, 2018. Twenty of the 300+ enrolled teams around the world including: Tsinghua University-China, Friedrich-Alexander, Erlangen-Nuremberg University- Germany, Saint Petersburg State University – Russia, University of Miskolc – Hungary, Texas A&M University – USA, and Hong Kong Baptist University, will compete from May 5 to 9, 2018 in the final round at Nanchang University. The 20 finalists will design and build supercomputers up to 3,000 Watts, solve exceptionally difficult problems in AI reading comprehension, perform RELION optimization as a core application of the Nobel winning cryo-electron microscopy, and utilize CFL3D, HPL, and HPCG.”

In this video, Overall Winners Team Tsinghua describe their efforts to master the Siesta Mystery Application.

Satoshi Matsuoka shows off the prototype board fro the Post K Supercomputer coming to RIKEN.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin was excited to see photos of the Post K Supercomputer Prototype. ARM processors will provide the computational muscle behind one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, replacing the current K computer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Japan.
  • Dan wants to know if the coveted space in front of the jetliner bulkhead is an acceptable passageway.
  • Rich is impressed with the new Tachyum Prodigy chip. According to Tachyum, the new chip has “ten times the processing power per watt” and is capable of running the world’s most complex compute tasks.

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RFHPC192: How Many Accelerators will it take to build an Exascale Machine?

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team takes a look at daunting performance targets for the DOE’s CORAL-2 RFP for Exascale Computers.

“So, 1.5 million TeraFlops divided by 7.8 is how many individual accelerators you need, and that’s 192,307, which by the way looks like a prime number. Now, multiply that by 300 watts per accelerator, and it is clear we are going to need something all-new to get where we want to go.”

The Request for Proposals is designed to get bids from vendors to build two and (potentially) three new exascale supercomputers. Each system is expected to cost between $400 – $600 million.

“These CORAL-2 systems represent the next generation in supercomputing and will be critical tools both for our nation’s scientists and for U.S. industry,” Secretary Perry said.  “They will help ensure America’s continued leadership in the vital area of high performance computing, which is an essential element of our national security, prosperity, and competitiveness as a nation.”

The new RFP calls for systems to be housed at:

  • One will be at ORNL
  • One at LLNL
  • A possible third system at Argonne

Specifications:

  • According to the RFP, baseline performance for each system should be at least 1300 Petaflops/sec.
  • Power budget will go up to 60 Megawatts. Preferred power consumption for the system is 20-60 Megawatts.
  • MTBF is requested to somewhere around 6 Days

As far as predictions go, Dan thinks one machine will go to IBM and the other will go to Intel. Rich thinks HPE will win one of the bids with an ARM-based system designed around The Machine memory-centric architecture. They have a wager, so listen in to find out where the smart money is.

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RFHPC191: A Look at the new Interactive USA Supercomputing Map

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the new interactive USA Supercomputing Map from Hyperion Research.  ”The mapped sites include government, academic and industrial HPC data centers, along with HPC vendors. This powerful tool can be used to identify the economic impact of HPC in a user-defined area (state, Congressional district, et al.) or for the United States as a whole, or to understand where HPC jobs are located, as well as who the Congressional district representatives are.” As part of the discussion, Rich recaps Hyperion’s recent HPC User Forum in Tucson. The event featured an extended session on Quantum Computing with presentations by D-Wave Systems, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NIST, and Rigetti Computing. You can watch them all right here on insideHPC. After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

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RFHPC190: Looking at the Coral-2 RFP for Exascale Supercomputers

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the new Department of Energy’s RFP for Exascale Computers.

Called CORAL-2, this Request for Proposal is for up to $1.8 billion and is completely separate from the $320 million allocated for the Exascale Computing Project in the FY 2018 budget. Those funds are mostly focused at application development and software technology for an exascale software stack.

These new systems represent the next generation in supercomputing and will be critical tools both for our nation’s scientists and for U.S. industry,” Secretary Perry said.  “They will help ensure America’s continued leadership in the vital area of high performance computing, which is an essential element of our national security, prosperity, and competitiveness as a nation.”

The RFP is issued under the CORAL umbrella (Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Livermore). CORAL1 has already procured the following systems:

  • Aurora at Argonne National Lab (target completion date in 2021)
  • Summit at ORNL (2018 to 2023 timeframe)
  • Sierra at LLNL (2018 to 2023 timeframe)

This RFP (CORAL2) is designed to get bids from vendors to build two and (potentially) three new exascale supercomputers. Each system is expected to cost between $400 – $600 million.

The new RFP calls for systems to be housed at:

  • One will be at ORNL
  • One at LLNL
  • A possible third system at Argonne

Specifications:

  • According to the RFP, baseline performance for each system should be at least 1300 Petaflops/sec.
  • Power budget will go up to 60 Megawatts. Preferred power consumption for the system is 20-40 Megawatts.
  • MTBF is requested to somewhere around 6 Days

As far as predictions go, Dan thinks one machine will go to IBM and the other will go to Intel. Rich thinks HPE will win one of the bids with an ARM-based system designed around The Machine memory-centric architecture. They have a wager, so listen in to find out where the smart money is.

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RFHPC189: How Seniors keep up with Technology

Binnie Coppersmith, AKA Henry’s Mom on her 80th Birthday

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team discusses technology changes and how senior citizens work with social media.

Henry’s Mom Binnie Coppersmith is once again our guest on the show, which is monumental since no one has ever offered to come back before.

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RFHPC188: Henry’s Mom is Back to Describe Travel Booking before Technology

Binnie Coppersmith, AKA Henry’s Mom on her 80th Birthday

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team discusses technology changes in the last 50 years of the Travel Agencies.

Henry’s Mom Binnie Coppersmith is once again our guest on the show, which is monumental since no one has ever offered to come back before.

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RFHPC187: Facebook Goes to Washington

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at Facebook’s testimony before Congress.

“Dan Olds and Henry Newman are the only guys on deck today, Rich and Shahin are either traveling or doing something useless. However, this episode is ground breaking. Henry and Dan agree on everything ranging from the Facebook security “scandal” to the implications of GDPR. It’s a shocking and stunning turn of events.”

We should have a full crew next week and it’s hard to believe that Dan and Henry will agree yet again, so the universe will be back in order.”

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RFHPC186: A Look Back at the 2018 GPU Technology Conference

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang unveils the DGX-2 supercomputer.

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team reviews the highlights of the GPU Technology Conference.

From Rich’s perspective, the key HPC announcement centered around new NVIDIA DGX-2 supercomputer with the NVSwitch interconnect.

The rapid growth in deep learning workloads has driven the need for a faster and more scalable interconnect, as PCIe bandwidth increasingly becomes the bottleneck at the multi-GPU system level. NVLink is a great advance to enable eight GPUs in a single server, and accelerate performance beyond PCIe. But taking deep learning performance to the next level will require a GPU fabric that enables more GPUs in a single server, and full-bandwidth connectivity between them.

NVIDIA NVSwitch is the first on-node switch architecture to support 16 fully-connected GPUs in a single server node and drive simultaneous communication between all eight GPU pairs at an incredible 300 GB/s each. These 16 GPUs can be used as a single large-scale accelerator with 0.5 Terabytes of unified memory space and 2 petaFLOPS of deep learning compute power.”

For more details on DGX-2, check out our insideHPC interview with NVIDIA’s Marc Hamilton.

Henry Newman and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

    • Henry is very proud of his new sport coat.
    • Shahin notes that the data privacy the key story these days. Facebook is on the ropes, and their CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before Congress this week to answer questions about the Cambridge Analytics scandal.
    • Dan is not optimistic about Apple switching to their own ARM processor for laptops. Rich notes that they have done it successfully before when they switched from POWER to Intel 12 or so years ago.
    • Rich is hitting the road once again. Stay tuned for videos from Swiss HPC Conference in Lugano and the HPC User Forum in Tucson.

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RFHPC185: Immortality through Mind Archival

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team goes off the supercomputing rails a bit with a discussion on digital immortality.

A new company called Nectome will reportedly archive your mind for future uploading to a machine.

We’re building the next generation of tools to preserve the connectome. Our ultimate ambition is to keep your memories intact for the future.

While the price of $10K seems reasonable enough, they do have to kill you to complete the process.

In this Ted Talk video, Sebastian Seung from Nectome describes how the company plans to save your mind.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

Shahin also points us to the DroneHunter, which hunts for unauthorized drones and captures them. It’s a fully-autonomous air defense mechanism. 

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RFHPC184: The Quest for Quantum Supremacy

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPCteam looks at the big three technologies of the day on the Hype curve:

  • Machine Learning. The GTC conference is coming up, and we are seeing a continuing series of announcements like the high density deep learning server from Lamda Labs.
  • Cryptocurrency. GPUs are in short supply as crypto miners continue to buy mass quantities of consumer devices.
  • Quantum Computing. This week Google unveiled their 72-Qbit Bristlecone Quantum Chip, which they claim has them on the road to Quantum Supremacy. At the same time, quantum seems to be going mainstream, as evidenced by a panel discussion this week at SXSW. You can listen to the full recording of the session on insideHPC.

Quantum Computing was the focus of a panel discussion at SXSW this week. From left: Bo Ewald (D-Wave Systems) Antia Lamas-Linares (TACC) Patricia Baumhart (D-Wave Systems) Jerry Chow (IBM) and Andrew Fursman 1Qbit.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

    • Rich notes that Ben Bennet at HPE was spotted on Twitter trying to convince the Europeans that building their own HPC chip is not a good idea.
    • Dan has enlisted Rocksmith computer technology in his quest to learn to play the guitar.
    • Shahin revisits the Department of Deep Thinking on the topic of why Computational Trust is expensive. It’s all about Faith, Fees, and Fiat. So if you happen to have Trust in your life for free, you should cherish it.

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