We’re heading toward the end of October and the time of year when crisp fall weather, autumnal colors and moonlit nights combine to create the spooky Halloween atmosphere. While spooky doesn’t exactly describe the supercomputing industry, the fall theme of change does. Change can happen fast in supercomputing as innovation is always key. This week is no different, as much of the news coming out of the industry focuses on changes and innovation in the sector.
Cray rising on wings of big data
A recent Reuters report explained that Cray’s high-performance computing solutions are ideally suited to meet demands of companies trying to maximize big data.
In the past 12 months, Cray’s shares have nearly doubled. This has come as big data is being used in a wide range of settings, including measuring weather and traffic. HPC systems are key in these segments because they help companies not only gather data together, but measure it correctly, the news source explained.
Barry Bolding, a vice president for Cray, told Reuters that emerging trends in data analytics have contributed to major changes in demand across the HPC sector.
“The assumption was that supercomputers were cliche five years ago. People thought, ‘I can run my simulation on my laptop’,” Bolding told the news source. “That may have been true, so long as the data associated wasn’t growing as well. But raw data is being created in exabytes as we sit here. More data means bigger computer, bigger computer means more data.”
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center obtains major grant
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center recently received a National Science Foundation grant for approximately $7.6 million to contribute to developing system prototypes, HPCWire reported. Michael Levine, scientific director at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, told the news source that the project funded by the grant will primarily focus on next-generation technologies that can support the kind of storage needs created by big data and similar analytics trends.
European Union setting sites on supercomputing
Another change happening in the HPC sector is a renewed focus from the European Union. The EU is emphasizing supercomputing as an integral technology for scientific development in the region. This movement is led by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) and is focused on developing broader, far-reaching strategies to use supercomputing technologies in a wide range of sectors, HPCWire reported.
The news source explained that PRACE is helping to get this initiative started through a new special report that details the key elements of a large-scale EU Horizon project to run from January 2014 through 2020.
Supercomputing skills becoming vital in United Kingdom, report says
HPC innovation is happening around the world, leading to a situation in which skill advances are necessary in many sectors. According to a recent V3 report, continued skills development around the United Kingdom is becoming necessary to keep up with rising demands in diverse industries. While the nation already boasts many experts in different supercomputing-related sectors, continued skills expansion in sectors like academia, business and research will be integral as HPC technologies are becoming more accessible.
Accessibility has become a central theme in the HPC sector, as supercomputing technologies are no longer reserved for large academic institutions and similar entities. Instead, more universities and government organizations are beginning to explore ways to use the technology. The news source said this is creating a situation in which more expertise is needed to overcome an industry skills gap and get more value out of the advanced technological systems.