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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at one of the most massive hacks ever, the NotPetya cyber attack on shipping company Maersk and their partners.

This story, featured in Wired magazine, should send chills down the spines of anyone out there who isn’t religiously updating their machines. In other news, Dan is in Australia for the week at the HPC-AI Advisory Council annual Perth meeting, in his catch of the week, he discusses how one of the companies at the conference has made extensive use of IBM’s Watson and is seeing great benefits. Shahin brings up a new camera with almost unimaginable image specs, while Henry get his two cents in on everything else.”

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the latest developments in processor technology coming out of the recent Hot Chips conference.

Since it started in 1989, HOT CHIPS has been known as one of the semiconductor industry’s leading conferences on high-performance microprocessors and related integrated circuits. The conference is held once a year in August in the center of the world’s capital of electronics activity, Silicon Valley.

The HOT CHIPS conference typically attracts more than 500 attendees from all over the world. It provides an opportunity for chip designers, computer architects, system engineers, press and analysts, as well as attendees from national laboratories and academia to mix, mingle and see presentations on the latest technologies and products. The three days of the conference typically feature two tutorials, two keynotes, a panel discussion and around 25 presentations on a variety of subjects related to microprocessors and integrated circuits conference.

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the new Eagle supercomputing under construction at NREL.

The new machine from HPE will run more detailed models that simulate complex processes, systems, and phenomena to advance early research and development on energy technologies across fields including vehicle, wind power, and data sciences.

We are strongly committed to architecting technologies to power the next wave of supercomputing and are creating advanced HPC systems while scaling energy efficiency in data centers, to get us there,” said Bill Mannel, vice president and general manager, HPC and AI Group, HPE. “Through Eagle and our overall ongoing collaboration with the U.S. DOE and NREL, we are advancing research to bolster innovation in energy and sustainability.”

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin likes the story coming out of DEFCON where 11 year olds were able to hack a local election result web site in just minutes. They had 39 kids from ages 6-17.
  • Dan likes the story about the kid who hacked into Apple and was apprehended with a store of sensitive data. Will they give a job someday?
  • Dan also notes that the new Foreshadow exploit makes your home computer vulnerable to something called SGX. This stuff is never ending, so do we need to rethink how we do computing?
  • Shahin is convinced that Ai is just a subset of HPC.
  • Rich is impressed with NVIDIA’s new Turing GPUs that can do real-time ray tracing. How fast is that? They measure their performance as 10 Gigarays per second.

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at China’s new ARM-based Exascale supercomputer prototype.

As reported in China Daily, scientists have put an exascale computing prototype into operation that does not run the x86 instruction set. The Sunway exascale computer prototype was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC), the team that developed Sunway TaihuLight, crowned the world’s fastest computer two years in a row in 2016 and 2017.

The Sunway exascale computer prototype is very much like a concept car that can run on road,”said Yang Meihong, director of the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan. “We expect to build the exascale computer in the second half of 2020 or the first half of 2021,” said Yang.

Another prototype exascale supercomputer Tianhe-3 passed the acceptance tests on July 22. Its final version is expected to come out in 2020. The two prototypes marked a further step towards China’s successful development of the next-generation supercomputer.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Rich points us to the story about Rigetti Computing’s pending 128-qubit quantum computer. The company has already built the 128-qubit processing chip, and is working to put all the pieces together to bring more power to researchers and developers. If successful, it could be the world’s most powerful quantum computer and it could have the chance to outpace traditional supercomputers. Meanwhile, you can already access IBMQ, D-Wave, and Chinese quantum machines in the cloud today.
  • Henry notes that one of the scary things to come out of the Black Hat conference is a new kind of microwave weapon for cooking your enemy from communication satellites.
  • Dan is wardriving in North Carolina in the town the Internet forgot.

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team talks to John Bent from the IO500 committee about why he and a team of I/O professionals created the IO500 benchmark suite. The second IO500 list was revealed at ISC 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Following the success of the Top500 in collecting and analyzing historical trends in supercomputer technology and evolution, the IO500 was created in 2017 and published its first list at SC17. The need for such an initiative has long been known within High Performance Computing; however, defining appropriate benchmarks had long been challenging. Despite this challenge, the community, after long and spirited discussion, finally reached consensus on a suite of benchmarks and a metric for resolving the scores into a single ranking.

The multi-fold goals of the benchmark suite are as follows:

  1. Maximizing simplicity in running the benchmark suite
  2. Encouraging complexity in tuning for performance
  3. Allowing submitters to highlight their “hero run” performance numbers
  4. Forcing submitters to simultaneously report performance for challenging IO patterns.

Specifically, the benchmark suite includes a hero-run of both IOR and mdtest configured however possible to maximize performance and establish an upper-bound for performance. It also includes an IOR and mdtest run with highly prescribed parameters in an attempt to determine a lower-bound. Finally, it includes a namespace search as this has been determined to be a highly sought-after feature in HPC storage systems that has historically not been well-measured. Submitters are encouraged to share their tuning insights for publication.

Once again, we encourage you to submit (see http://io500.org/submission), to join our community, and to attend our BoF “The IO-500 and the Virtual Institute of I/O” at ISC 2018 where we will announce the second ever IO500 list. The current list includes results from BeeGFS, DataWarp, IME, Lustre, and Spectrum Scale. We hope that the next list has even more.

IO500 List Showcases World's Fastest Storage Systems for HPC - YouTube

In this video from ISC 2018, John Bent and Jay Lofstead describe how the IO500 benchmark measures storage performance in HPC environments.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Shahin notes that Apple has become the first Trillion-dollar company. He was also on a AI panel where they talked about how the HR department may soon become the Human and Machine Resources Department.
  • Henry points us to the story that DEFCON conference is hosting a contest for 8 year olds to hack government election sites.
  • Rich is taunting Dan with the impressive specifications on his new I9-powered MacBook Pro. There will be a render-off.
  • John Bent went to Google IO and says they were very excited about their new Gmail feature that will auto-compose emails for you. Rich wants to use it on illiterate PR people who think they can call him at 4 am.
  • Dan likes the story about the man who ran out of data on his phone and woke a sleeping couple in Palo Alto to demand they give him their WiFi password. The incident started a crime spree, as the man stole their kid’s bicycle to flee the scene.

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at a new whitepaper from Lincoln Labs focused on the performance hits Spectre/Meltdown mitigations. The news is not good for HPC workloads.

After that, Shahin point us to the story about how DARPA just allocated $75 Million in awards for thinking-outside-the-box computing innovation. They call it the Electronics Resurgence Initiative and the list of projects funded includes something called Software Defined Hardware.

After that, we do the Catch of the Week:

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Radio Free HPC Looks a China's Three-Pronged Plan for Exascale - YouTube

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team goes through a fascinating presentation that provides details on China’s Three-Pronged Plan for Exascale.

China may not be the first to Exascale, but they are building three divergent architectural prototypes that pave the way forward. We’ve got the details in this not-to-miss podcast.

We should probably note that this is our 200th Episode of Radio Free HPC. We would like to thank all 13 of our regular listeners for their continued support!

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team offers up a Trip Report from ISC 2018 in Frankfurt. It was a whirlwind week for news with a new USA machine on the TOP500, but the other big news centered around the convergence of HPC & AI. This common theme was all over the show floor, with use cases on display in dozens of exhibits.

Topics include:

  • ISC 2018 Student Cluster Competition results
  • Shahin rant: Convergence of hpc and AI
  • Dan runs down student cluster results
  • Samsung works on 5 nanometer chips
  • Intel seeks a new CEO
  • Team America Breaks the Hotel

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team reviews the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

The TOP500 celebrates its 25th anniversary with a major shakeup at the top of the list. For the first time since November 2012, the US claims the most powerful supercomputer in the world, leading a significant turnover in which four of the five top systems were either new or substantially upgraded.

Highlights:

#1 is Summit, an IBM-built supercomputer now running at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), captured the number one spot with a performance of 122.3 petaflops on High Performance Linpack (HPL), the benchmark used to rank the TOP500 list. Summit has 4,356 nodes, each one equipped with two 22-core Power9 CPUs, and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. The nodes are linked together with a Mellanox dual-rail EDR InfiniBand network.

#2 is Sunway TaihuLight, a system developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, drops to number two after leading the list for the past two years. Its HPL mark of 93 petaflops has remained unchanged since it came online in June 2016.

#3 is Sierra, a new system at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory took the number three spot, delivering 71.6 petaflops on HPL. Built by IBM, Sierra’s architecture is quite similar to that of Summit, with each of its 4,320 nodes powered by two Power9 CPUs plus four NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs and using the same Mellanox EDR InfiniBand as the system interconnect.

#4 is Tianhe-2A, also known as Milky Way-2A, moved down two notches into the number four spot, despite receiving a major upgrade that replaced its five-year-old Xeon Phi accelerators with custom-built Matrix-2000 coprocessors. The new hardware increased the system’s HPL performance from 33.9 petaflops to 61.4 petaflops, while bumping up its power consumption by less than four percent. Tianhe-2A was developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and is installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China.

#5 The AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) is the fifth-ranked system on the list, with an HPL mark of 19.9 petaflops. The Fujitsu-built supercomputer is powered by 20-core Xeon Gold processors along with NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. It’s installed in Japan at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

#6 is Piz Daint in Switzerland with 19.6 petaflops.

#7-10 Titan (17.6 petaflops), Sequoia (17.2 petaflops), Trinity (14.1 petaflops), and Cori (14.0 petaflops) move down to the number six through 10 spots, respectively.

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In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team previews the ISC 2018 Student Cluster Competition.

“Now in its seventh year, the ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition enables international STEM teams to take part in a real-time contest focused on advancing STEM disciplines and HPC skills development at ISC 2018 from June 25-27. To take home top honors, twelve teams will have the opportunity to showcase systems of their own design, adhering to strict power constraints and achieve the highest performance across a series of standard HPC benchmarks and applications.”

After that, Rich describes a number of ancillary events have been scheduled in Frankfurt.

Events in chronological order:

  • HP-CAST will take place June 22-23 at the Frankfurt Marriott. HP-CAST is an organization of HPE customers and partners who provide input to HP to increase the capabilities of HP solutions for large-scale, scientific and technical computing.
  • The Dell EMC HPC Community will get together for a half-day meeting on Sunday, June 24 at the Frankfurt Marriott.
  • DDN User Group will be held on Monday, June 25 from 9:00am – 12:30am at the Movenpick Hotel.
  • D-Wave Systems will host a seminar on Quantum Computing on Monday, June 25 starting at 2:00pm at the Frankfurt Marriott.
  • Intel Special Session: Dr. Raj Hazra, Corporate Vice President at Intel, will discuss AI & HPC emerging technologies that will accelerate discovery and innovation at 6:00 pm Monday, June 25 in the Panarama 2 room at the Frankfurt Messe.
  • The Hyperion Research  Breakfast Briefing will take place on Tuesday, June 26 at 7:45am at the Grandhotel Hessischer Hof.
  • Univa will host a Breakfast Seminar on Cloud HPC on Wednesday, June 27 at 8:00am at the Frankfurt Marriott.
  • The Women in HPC network is running a half day workshop on Thursday, June 28.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

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