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News digest 29 June 2006
>Start
>PrimeurLive! from ISC2006 in Dresden
>Blog
>Bringing the world to HPC
>Hardware
>Panel session on Petaflop Computing
>Cray's new systems Black Widow and Eldorado on schedule for availability in 2007
>How to call a Polish colleague when you are stuck in a traffic jam?
>Applications
>Blue Brain Project to consolidate simulation of neocortical column into one model
>Promising but challenging tumour growth simulation experiments at TU Dresden
>The Grid
>Spicing up the use of federated Grids for computational biology
>Company news
>UK's EPSRC selects Cray to negotiate multi-year contract for HECToR procurement
>French Atomic Energy Authority's Tera 10 Supercomputer is Confirmed No.1 in Europe by TOP500's latest edition
>IBM dominates TOP500 supercomputer list
>Multiprocessor performance benefits of AMD Opteron recognized with long-term commitments by developers of world's 500 highest-performing systems
>Indiana University's supercomputer joins ranks of world's fastest
>Mellanox "InfiniBand accelerated" supercomputers continue rapid growth on distinguished Top500
>Myricom demonstrates low-latency 10-Gigabit Ethernet
>QLogic InfiniPath InfiniBand adapters to support OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution 1.0
News digest 29 June 2006
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PrimeurLive! from ISC2006 in Dresden

This year we again report Live! from Europe's main supercomputing event. We start our second decade of coverage this event with a new collaboration with the TOP500 site that will simultanously publish the breaking news.

See the issues for each day:

Or tune in to the Atom/RSS-Newsfeed .

We start each issue with an "blog" giving you some personal impressions. The next sections provide traditional reporting. The last section "Company news" provides mainly press release type of information from the companies. Hence, a few items are brought to you from three different view points.

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Blog
Bringing the world to HPC
According to Thomas Sterling in his traditional overview of supercomputer developments during the past year at the ISC2006 conference in Dresden, no real breakthrough in any area was to be reported. There were only incremental improvements. OK, if you ask him to mention the two most important ones, that would be multi-core and Petaflop/s. But both in his talk and in a number of others, two important developments are mentioned. First the flattening of the CPU-speed increase, that led to multi-core processors. That will surely lead to a revolution as they will become part of every computer in the world. Programming these is a real challenge. The other important announcement was the MS Cluster server. Or as Sterling explained this: MS brings the whole world to HPC. When looking at the exhibitors, there are a number of new players in HPC too. Read further...
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Hardware
Panel session on Petaflop Computing
The ISC2006 panel session was jointly chaired by Thomas Sterling and Kenichi Muira which have been both involved in Petaflop computer research for quite some time in the US and Japan, respectively. Both chairmen gave a small introduction on the topic before letting on the 5 panelists. Tom Sterling reviewed the development of characteristics of Petaflop computers and conceded that the notion of what will make up a Petaflop system has changed over time from the first Petaflop report of 1994. For one thing: the idea that rather exotic technology will be needed, like cryogenically immersed processors and radically new programming paradigms no longer seems true. On the other hand many of the predictions made earlier about memory hierarchies and heterogeneity of processor types still hold to this moment. Read further...
Cray's new systems Black Widow and Eldorado on schedule for availability in 2007
With the announcement that Cray will probably deliver the new 50 TFlop/s UK national supercomputer in EPSRC Cray is continuing its conquest of Europe. The company has delivered or signed contracts for a number of major European supercomputers during the past year. In Dresden Cray's Steve Scott explained some of the technology behind the successes. Read further...
How to call a Polish colleague when you are stuck in a traffic jam?
Dr. Ben Bennett from Intel in the United Kingdom presented a keynote talk on HPC commodity at the ISC2006 Conference. People are expecting more computational power and vendors need to deliver greater performance and power efficiency in order to have the applications take advantage of it. The speaker however stressed that more cores and more threads amount to more potential but also to more risk. Read further...
Applications
Blue Brain Project to consolidate simulation of neocortical column into one model
Stunning visualization results of the neocortex in the human brain came to live at the ISC2006 Conference in Dresden where Dr. Felix Schürmann from EPFL, Switzerland introduced the Blue Brain Project to the HPC audience. The difference between the mouse and the human brain is the size of the neocortex. Visualizing the neocortical column in order to find out how the nerves connect implies a lot of challenges. The scientific team at EPFL made a connection between a Blue Gene supercomputer and an SGI machine to simulate the electrical behaviour of neurons. Read further...
Promising but challenging tumour growth simulation experiments at TU Dresden
Cancer is a system, so we should be able to address it as a mathematical model in order to study its genesis and evolution, according to Dr. Andreas Deutsch from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. He shared some of the recent findings of his team on tumour growth simulation with the ISC2006 audience. At the same time Dr. Deutsch warned the conference participants to not have their expectations rise too high as yet. Read further...
The Grid
Spicing up the use of federated Grids for computational biology
Peter Coveney and Shantenu Jha presented their ISC Award Winning Paper on the SPICE project which stands for "Simulated Pore Interactive Computing Environment". The project uses a federated Grid for grand challenges in computational biology. Read further...
Company news
UK's EPSRC selects Cray to negotiate multi-year contract for HECToR procurement
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the main funding agency in the United Kingdom for research in engineering and the physical sciences and the managing agent on behalf of the other Research Councils for High Performance Computing, has selected Cray as the preferred bidder to provide the computing hardware for the Councils' next generation national high performance computing service for the UK academic community. This project, commonly referred to as HECToR, which stands for High End Computing Terascale Resources, is expected to operate for up to six years and have an initial theoretical peak capability of over 50 Tflop/s. The contract is expected to provide for customer options for additional capability in the future. Read further...
French Atomic Energy Authority's Tera 10 Supercomputer is Confirmed No.1 in Europe by TOP500's latest edition
Tera 10 is ranked number one in Europe and number five in the world in the 27th TOP500 listing of the world's supercomputers, published at the International Supercomputer Conference (ISC2006) in Dresden, Germany. Installed in 2005, the supercomputer is made up of 544 NovaScale computing nodes and 58 I/O management and system administration nodes, representing over 4500 Dual-Core Intel Itanium 2 'Montecito' processors. Read further...
IBM dominates TOP500 supercomputer list
IBM systems account for 240 of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world and more than half the total processing power according to the just-released TOP500 supercomputer sites list. IBM's Blue Gene/L developed and installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory tops the list with an unprecedented sustained performance of 280.6 Tflop/s. Read further...
Multiprocessor performance benefits of AMD Opteron recognized with long-term commitments by developers of world's 500 highest-performing systems
Several AMD Opteron processor-based systems are listed ain the TOP500 list announced at the 21st International Supercomputer Conference. Read further...
Indiana University's supercomputer joins ranks of world's fastest
Indiana University's supercomputer system - nicknamed "Big Red" - is the fastest supercomputer owned and operated by a U.S. university and the 23rd fastest supercomputer in the world, according to the list of the world's most powerful computer systems that was released on June 28. IU's supercomputer system - an IBM e1350 BladeCenter Cluster - is also the fastest of its type in the world. Read further...
Mellanox "InfiniBand accelerated" supercomputers continue rapid growth on distinguished Top500
InfiniBand continues to be the fastest growing cluster interconnect, according to the 27th edition of the TOP500 list of the world's most powerful computers. Sixteen new InfiniBand-based supercomputers have registered in the June 2006 list while three of the top ten most prominent ranking positions use InfiniBand interconnect - all based on Mellanox silicon solutions. Read further...
Myricom demonstrates low-latency 10-Gigabit Ethernet
At the International Supercomputer Conference in Germany, Myricom is introducing new message-passing software for its Myri-10G products, delivering 10-Gigabit Ethernet latencies formerly associated only with specialty High-Performance Computing (HPC) interconnects. Read further...
QLogic InfiniPath InfiniBand adapters to support OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution 1.0
QLogic Corp.'s InfiniPath InfiniBand Interconnect will support the newly released OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) 1.0 for Linux-based data centre fabrics. OFED 1.0 is the first enterprise version of the open source software stack, providing users with a standardized, fully tested and robust tool to develop RDMA-capable datacentre fabrics. Read further...

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