The supercomputing sector is a vibrant and fast-paced industry. A great deal can happen in a week and there is plenty for organizations to keep up with. Check out what has been happening in the sector over the past week or so in this week’s news roundup.
Dongarra developing new supercomputer performance benchmark
The University of Tennessee’s Jack Dongarra, the mind behind the popular Linpack benchmark for supercomputing performance, is beginning to work on a new set of standards to assess what supercomputers can do. Dongarra explained that even though Linpack is only a few years old it is already showing significant limitations and new solutions need to be developed.
“Linpack rankings of computer systems are no longer so strongly correlated to real application performance,” said Dongarra.
Dongarra explained that the limitations of the Linpack benchmark is leading to performance evaluations that do not fit real-world performance capabilities.
“This is an important issue to address since we are seeing more applications being dominated by differential equations, and thus, each iteration of the TOP500 will show increasing gaps between real versus Linpack performance,” said Dongarra.
Blue Waters establishes foundation for accessible research innovation
The Blue Waters supercomputer at the University of Illinois is not just one of the world’s most powerful high-performance computing devices in the world. It is also one that could push the boundaries of research. A recent CNET report explained that Blue Waters offers a combination of peak performance capabilities, sustained power and flexible use models that could make it a key asset for a wide range of research efforts. This allows the device to support research in a wide range of fields and position scientists to make advances that would otherwise have been impossible.
Supercomputing performance accelerating at rapid pace
The supercomputing sector as a whole is progressing at a pace that is leaving many organizations scrambling to keep up with rising performance capabilities. A recent Financial Times report illustrated this trend by pointing to the efforts of one supercomputing lab that is facing new challenges because of how fast the industry is moving. The facility was built just 10 years ago with the intention of having it last a few decades as a state-of-the-art high-performance computing lab. However, the industry has moved so quickly that the lab is barely able to support contemporary devices and strategic upgrades are on the way.
Cray documentary premiering July 22
Cray has long played a leading part in the supercomputing sector. This has contributed to major scientific advances and the development of a high-tech community in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. A documentary detailing Cray’s rise as a technological leader explores how the company developed its roots in the Chippewa Valley, its progression since its early years and how the company has evolved into a major global corporation, the Leader-Telegram reported.
The documentary will be shown at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls on July 22, 2013. The show begins at 7 p.m. and copies of the movie will be available at the event or by calling the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry & Technology.
Stop by next week for another update on the key happenings in the high-performance computing sector.