System Bits: July 10


Light waves run on silicon-based chips Researchers at the University of Sydney’s Nano Institute and Singapore University of Technology and Design collaborated on manipulating light waves on silicon-based microchips to keep coherent data as it travels thousands of miles on fiber-optic cables. Such waves—whether a tsunami or a photonic packet of information—are known as solitons. The... » read more

System Bits: June 25


Supercomputers around the world At last week’s International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the 53rd biannual list of the Top500 of the most powerful computing systems in the world was released. Broken out by countries of installation, China has 219 of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers, compared with 116 in the United States. Ranking by percent of list flops, the ... » read more

HPE to Buy Cray in $1.3B Deal


Hewlett Packard Enterprise agreed to acquire Cray Inc. for $35 a share in cash, with the transaction valued at about $1.3 billion, net of cash. The proposed merger would add supercomputing system technology to HPE’s product portfolio, expanding its offerings in high-performance computing (HPC). The HPC segment of the IT market, together with the associated data storage and services, is for... » read more

System Bits: May 14


Faster U.S. supercomputers on the way The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a contract for more than $600 million to Cray for an exascale supercomputer to be installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory during 2021. Cray will provide its Shasta architecture and Slingshot interconnect for what is dubbed the Frontier supercomputer. Advanced Micro Devices will have a key role in building the... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 14


Detecting malware with power monitoring Engineers at the University of Texas at Austin and North Carolina State University devised a way to detect malware in large-scale embedded computer systems by monitoring power usage and identifying unusual surges as a warning of potential infection. The method relies on an external piece of hardware that can be plugged into the system to observe and m... » read more

Quantum Computing Becoming Real


Quantum computing will begin rolling out in increasingly useful ways over the next few years, setting the stage for what ultimately could lead to a shakeup in high-performance computing and eventually in the cloud. Quantum computing has long been viewed as some futuristic research project with possible commercial applications. It typically needs to run at temperatures close to absolute zero,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 30


Scalable data center chip Princeton University researchers designed a new scalable chip specifically for data centers and massive computing systems. The team believes the chip, called Piton, can substantially increase processing speed while slashing energy needs. The chip architecture is scalable; designs can be built that go from a dozen cores to several thousand. Also, the architecture ... » read more

China Tops Top500


The last time I wrote about the Green500, the Chinese machine Tianhe-2 was at the top of the Top500 list. At that point, Tianhe-2 had slipped from 49th to 64th on the Green500. Tianhe-2 has now slipped to second place on the Top500, only surpassed by yet another new Chinese machine, NRCPC’s Sunway TaihuLight. There has also been some consolidation between the Top500 and the Green500 lists: it... » read more

New Machine Tops The Green500 List


The Green500 has released its latest list of the top 500 most energy efficient Supercomputers and there is a new machine, L-CSC from the Helmholtz Center that is the first supercomputer to surpass the 5 GigaFLOPS/watt barrier. The machine is yet another heterogeneous system and is based on AMD FirePro S9150 GPU accelerators and Intel Xeon E5-2690v2 10C 3GHz processors. IBM and NVIDIA aren’... » read more

Shaking Up The Green500


Barry Pangrle Last September, I wrote about the efficiency of IBM’s Power7+ architecture in my blog. IBM’s Sequoia supercomputer (a BlueGene/Q system) this past June had just shot to the top of the Supercomputing Top500 chart, clocking in at 16.32 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark. Other systems built around the IBM BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom were also dominating the top o... » read more