5 Predictions of Where Supercomputing is Heading in 2016

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From new processor technologies to quantum computing, 2016 promises to be another exciting year for supercomputing. Here are five predictions as to how the industry will push ahead in 2016:    The year of progress in new processor technologies There are a number of exciting technologies we should see in 2016, and a leader will be Intel’s next-generation Xeon Phi coprocessor – a hybrid between an accelerator and general purpose processor. This new class of processors will have a large impact on the industry with its innovative design that combines a many-core architecture with general-purpose productivity. Cray, for example, will be delivering Intel Xeon Phi processors with some of our largest systems, including those going to Los ... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Blog Posts From 2015

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Happy New Year! Check out some of the top blog posts from 2015: Why Do Better Forecasts Matter? Meteorologists have been striving to increase the accuracy of their work since the first weather forecasts were issued in the mid-19th century by pioneers such as Robert FitzRoy. In the 1950s and 1960s, the development of computers and observational technologies enabled forecast generation using the numerical weather prediction theories of Vilhelm Bjerknes and Lewis Fry Richardson. Today the numerical models that support our weather and climate forecasts are true “grand challenge” problems, requiring on the order of 10,000 billion (1016) mathematical operations and the exchange of 150 billion (1.5 x 1014) bytes of information to generate a ... [ Read More ]

Can We Make Petabytes Useful?

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A recent article in Nature, “The Power of Petabytes”, by Michael Eisenstein, reviews how exponentially increasing life science data exceeds our present abilities to process and make sense of it. Even while continuing to grow unbounded, data sets are still often not yet large enough to draw convincing conclusions. Computation is one obvious problem. “The computation scales linearly with respect to the number of people,” says Marylyn Ritchie, a genomics researcher at Pennsylvania State University in State College. “But as you add more variables, it becomes exponential as you start to look at different combinations.” To efficiently harness growing computing resources, researchers will need to leverage scalable algorithmic approaches and ... [ Read More ]

In Remembrance of Stephen Richards

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Stephen Richards, one of our longstanding Board members, recently passed away and I wanted to reflect on his contributions to Cray and the impact he had on me personally. Steve joined Cray’s Board of Directors in 2004, soon after I joined the company.  He came to us with some incredible experience from his roles as COO and CFO at McAfee, and a number of other senior positions at companies such as E*TRADE, Bear Stearns and others. At Cray, Steve served on our audit committee and had recently taken over leadership of our compensation committee. Steve was not only extremely intuitive and level-headed, he was also an amazing teacher and mentor – in his own unique way.  When things were going bad, he’d always find something good to talk ... [ Read More ]

European Researchers Model the Human Brain

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You may have seen recent news items regarding the Human Brain Project (HBP), a ten-year European neuroscience research initiative. Interactive computer simulation of brain models is central to its success. Cray was recently awarded a contract for the third and final phase of an R&D program (known in the European Union as a Pre-Commercial Procurement or PCP) to deliver a pilot system on which interactive simulation and analysis techniques will be developed and tested. The Cray work is being undertaken by the newly launched Cray EMEA Research Lab. This article discusses the ideas being developed and tested, ideas that we expect to be useful to many Cray users. Step one is to manage the computer system in the same way other large pieces ... [ Read More ]