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Q&A: Diving Deep Into Our Solar System

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Anthony Mezzacappa, director of the University of Tennessee–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, and a team of computational astrophysicists are conducting one of the largest supernova simulations to date on ORNL’s “Titan” supercomputer. Titan, which is a hybrid Cray® XK7™ supercomputer, is managed by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility on behalf of the Department of Energy. Dr. Mezzacappa answers our questions about his team’s work on Titan. Q: Why is understanding what triggers a supernova explosion so important? A: Supernovae are ultimately responsible for why you and I are here. The class of supernova that our team studies is known as core-collapse supernovae, and this type … [Read more...]

Recent Crash Test Results Highlight the Need for Enhanced Simulation

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In July the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published crash test results for the “small overlap front crash test,” in which only one of the 12 cars tested earned a “good” rating.  These results, combined with the results of earlier tests, led Consumer Reports to publish a headline reading, “Most Small Cars Bomb New Small-Overlap Crash Test.” At the same time, Nissan presented an excellent paper on the computer simulation challenges of the small overlap test. This is an example of the increasingly stringent requirements for automotive safety and why the use of high performance computing (HPC) for crash safety simulation is critical in the automotive design process. There are dozens of crash load cases evaluated … [Read more...]

Student Teams Prepare for Cluster Showdown

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The annual Supercomputing conference, which will be held this year Nov. 16-21 in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a can’t-miss event for the supercomputing world. It’s five days of exhibits, conferences and networking that showcase current innovations in the industry. It’s also the forum for the Student Cluster Competition (SCC), a 48-hour, nonstop challenge for 12 teams of undergraduate and/or high school students. Their mission: Assemble a small cluster computer and race to demonstrate the greatest sustained performance on several applications, three of which they’ll know in advance and one that’s a mystery until the competition starts. The only restrictions on hardware are that the teams must not exceed the 3,120-watt power limit … [Read more...]

Exascale Computing for Seismic Exploration

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The exascale race — toward machines capable of executing 1 quintillion (1018) operations per second — is well under way. The U.S., Japan, China and Europe have all established programs to enable exascale capabilities by around 2020. In the U.S., leading the charge toward significant HPC milestones usually falls to the Department of Energy (DOE): Both its Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration have significant interest in and benefit from ever-increasing levels of modeling, simulation and data-processing capabilities for a variety of applications. Both can leverage critical resources (facilities and people), institutional expertise and deep know-how, if not intellectual property, in this pursuit. Not all … [Read more...]

Managing Data from High-Performance Lustre to Deep Tape Archives

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On September 17 we will present Cray’s Tiered Adaptive Storage (TAS) solution at the Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (PASIG) event in Germany. Session topics will include managing and preserving research data and infrastructures to support preservation of data at scale. Cray has a natural interest in contributing to these areas because a large number of our customers run Lustre® file systems. As of today, more than 120 petabytes of data capacity has been deployed on Cray supercomputers. Our customers produce enormous amounts of simulation data every day with the numerical models they use in science and engineering. Data protection policies apply to a significant portion of that data, and it frequently needs to be … [Read more...]