AI Meets HPC at ISC 2017

Running astrophysics applications with 200,000 MPI tasks … diagnosing and treating autism spectrum disorders … researching the secure nature of the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm. Those are among the many research dreams that HPC professionals talked about at the Cray booth at ISC High Performance 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany last week.

Cray’s mission is to help customers realize their most challenging data science and research goals, and at ISC we took the next step with the introduction of the Cray® Urika®-XC analytics software suite, which embodies the convergence of supercomputing and analytics. With the new Urika-XC software suite, users can now run analytics, graph and AI workloads simultaneously on the same system, benefiting from an unprecedented breadth of results.

Need more info on the AI-HPC link? High-performance computing “helps AI algorithms scale performance with data,” notes a new white paper from research firm Tractica. “Standard techniques in HPC like low-latency and high-bandwidth interconnects, sparse matrix multiplication techniques, low-precision compute, and low-power footprint can all be applied to speeding up AI, expanding its opportunities.” The white paper, “Use Cases for Artificial Intelligence in High-Performance Computing,” looks at work in weather and climate modeling, financial services, precision medicine and cybersecurity. Download a free copy.

During ISC Cray also announced a new customer in New Zealand – the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). More than two thirds of the World Meteorological Organization’s Long Range Modelling Centers run Cray supercomputers for numerical weather prediction.

And, speaking of clouds – wait for it – Cray’s new Supercomputing-as-a-Service offering (SCaaS) was a hot topic in the booth this year. For organizations that can’t or don’t want to earmark the capital expense to invest in the world’s best supercomputers, Cray’s SCaaS provides access to the same amazing technology.

Cray CTO Steve Scott speaking at ISC. (ISC High Performance, 2017 @Philip Loeper)

Several Cray staff contributed to the conference program, including senior vice president and CTO Steve Scott, who presented “Pushing the Frontiers of Deep Learning” on the event’s Deep Learning Day.

Guests at the Cray/NVIDIA reception. (ISC High Performance, 2017 @Philip Loeper)

ISC reports they had a record year for attendance – 3,200 people from 60 countries. We’re not sure we met all of them, but we enjoyed meeting those who came to our booth and talks, and attended our annual Tuesday night reception, co-sponsored by NVIDIA.

Until ISC 2018, keep those amazing things happening!

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