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'Cut!' - the AI director

At the Cannes Lions advertising festival on Thursday morning, an audience was shown a series of short films in the annual New Directors Showcase, which highlights emerging talent. One of the entries had AI as a director. A few days ago, I saw Eclipse, a pop video featuring a French band, at the offices of Saatchi and Saatchi, which runs the Cannes showcase and commissioned the AI entry. What is remarkable about it is not the production values - it is actually a rather dull piece of work - but a process that involved AI at every stage. All the computer had been given was the track, Saatchi...

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HPE Looks to Move Data Between Computers at the Speed of Light

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is turning to lights and lasers in thin fiber optics as a way to move data at blazing speeds between computers, replacing thicker and slower copper wires. A motherboard with an optical module, shown by HPE at its recent Discover show, could transfer data at a staggering 1.2 terabits per second. That's enough for the transfer of a full day's worth of HD video in one second. The data transfer speed is much quicker than any existing networking and connector technology based on copper wires today. It could replace copper Ethernet cables that are widely used in data ...

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Early-universe Soup

At the dawn of the universe – just after the Big Bang – all matter was in the form of a hot-flowing soup called quark-gluon plasma, or QGP. Large-scale computations have been critical to the theoretical study of QGP’s novel characteristics. As part of a theoretical effort funded by the Department of Energy, Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Swagato Mukherjee and his colleagues are using an allotment of 167 million processor hours from the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) to better understand QGP. Their findings will help physicists plan the next wave of experiments. “Ne...

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Fujitsu Chooses ARM Over SPARC for Its Next Supercomputer

Fujitsu will ditch SPARC chips for the ARM architecture for the next generation of the K supercomputer that currently is the fifth-fastest system in the world. At the ISC High Performance 2016 supercomputing show this week in Frankfurt, Germany, Fujitsu officials said the successor to the current K computer, which is housed at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Japan, will be an exascale system that is expected to be operational in 2020. The future supercomputer, which officials are referring to as Post-K, will be built by Fujitsu and the government-funded Riken fac...

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Brazil budget crisis slows supercomputer from studying Zika

A supercomputer named Santos Dumont has been partially switched off in Rio de Janeiro due to government spending cuts. It was meant to be genetically mapping the Zika virus. "It seems nonsensical, at a moment like this when everyone is talking about the Zika virus," Antonio Tadeu, head of a government group responsible for high performance processing, told Reuters. "The financial problems have meant Santos Dumont is running below capacity since last month," he added. In the midst of Brazil's worst recession since the 1930s, funds to Santos Dumont's home at the National Laboratory of Compu...

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Latest Irish Supercomputer List Reflects Growing Capabilities

The sixth Irish Supercomputer List is out today, reflecting substantial growth in computational power from just a year ago. The new list represents a dramatic shake-up of the Irish High Performance Computing (HPC) landscape, with aggregate Irish HPC power exceeding 1 Petaflop/s for the first time. There are six new machines at positions 1, 2, 3, 8, 20 and 28. All top three machines are Top500-class, currently featuring at positions 357, 453, and 454 on the 47th Top500 list, representing the 500 fastest supercomputers on Earth. These three machines combined have a performance of 981 TFlop/...

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South Africa Team Claims Third ISC Student Cluster Championship

At an awards ceremony near the close of ISC 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany, this week, attendees cheered as Team South Africa took to the stage to collect their third HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition championship prize from HPC luminary Thomas Sterling. “I have to say that this is extraordinary,” said Sterling, who was helping officiate along with Gilad Shainer (of Mellanox). “Last year, I said those South African teams are pretty good. They came in second last year and first the two times before that. This is a remarkable performance.” The win marked quite the accomplishment for...

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It's all fun and games until someone loses a rack

This year’s ISC’16 Student Cluster Competition boasts the most diverse set of hardware in the near 10-year history of student cluster competitions. Student teams are running three different system architectures (x86, ARM, and Power) in both traditional and hybrid (hardware accelerated) forms. The configurations of these systems are all over the map, as is typical in these competitions. CPU core counts range from 56 on the low end to more than 800 for the ARM teams. Most of the teams seem to make use of Xeon cores, NVIDIA accelerators, and CentOS operating systems in varying configurat...

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IBM supercomputer Watson to help advance preschool education

Sesame Workshop and IBM announced a collaboration to use IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology and Sesame’s early childhood expertise to help advance preschool education around the world. As part of a three-year agreement, Sesame Workshop and IBM will collaborate to develop educational platforms and products that will be designed to adapt to the learning preferences and aptitude levels of individual preschoolers. Research shows that a significant extent of brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life1, making this window critical for learning and developm...

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NSF Leader and Texas Educator to Keynote RMACC’s HPC Symposium

The future of the Jetstream in Cloud Computing, and NSF strategies for support of Cyberinfrastructure to help advance research and education will be the focus of keynote addresses at the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium’s (RMACC) 6th annual High Performance Computing Symposium. This year’s event is set for Aug. 9-11 at the Lory Student Center on the campus of Colorado State University – Fort Collins. Open to the public, the symposium brings together designers and users of high performance computing systems from universities, government laboratories, and industry from thr...

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