Supercomputing Matters: SC14 in Retrospect

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SC14, the premier event in the HPC industry, has wound to a close in New Orleans. It’s interesting to look back and contemplate the validity of this year’s theme, “HPC Matters,” the success of the conference and the vitality of the industry. Our industry has seen the ebb and flow of the relevance of supercomputing, and the fortunes of Cray have often paralleled those of this event (or visa versa). This year was no exception and SC14 was a resounding success for Cray and for the industry. With more than  10,000 attendees and 356 exhibitors it was a full show and the work never stopped. As I walked the show floor — logging about 5 miles a day — I was struck by the number of Cray customers. They were everywhere, either with booths of their own … [Read more...]

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 of supernova … [Read more...]

INCITE Program Paves Way for Groundbreaking Research

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This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, which has given researchers from academia, government labs and industry access to some of the fastest supercomputers in the world. INCITE enables scientific discoveries and technological innovations by awarding time on multiple systems and is now accepting proposals for high-impact, computationally intensive research campaigns in a broad array of science, engineering and computer science domains. INCITE’s Multi-Discipline Research  Using one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world — “Titan,” a Cray® XK7™ system housed at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) — researchers across the country devoted more … [Read more...]

NERSC’s “Edison” Unleashed

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Now that our new flagship supercomputer Edison, a 2.5-petaflop Cray® XC30™, has been in full production mode for a couple of months, it seems like a good time to check in and see how scientists are using it. At the top of the list of hours used are teams of scientists studying the fundamentals of the standard model of particle physics, the structure of the Earth's subsurface, clustering of matter in the early universe, fusion energy, clean combustion, how salts bind to water, nano-characteristics of catalysts, table-top accelerators, carbon sequestration, and extreme climate events. If that seems like a diverse and intriguing array of topics, that's because it is.  NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, is … [Read more...]

MSU Turns to Liquid-Cooled Cluster Supercomputer

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Mississippi State University had a need for a powerful and efficient new primary supercomputing system for their High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2) –  a coalition focused on advancing the state of the art in computational science and engineering using high performance computing. They chose the Cray® CS300™ liquid-cooled cluster supercomputer. Nicknamed "Shadow," MSU's new Cray CS300-LC cluster generates 316.1 teraflops of peak performance while using minimal energy. This efficiency is accomplished in part through a hybrid architecture featuring Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors, and because the system uses warm water for cooling. Almost four years ago, the University installed its first chilled … [Read more...]