SC09 Wrap: Aurora, Gore, Fusion i/o, Green 500

A roundup of headlines from last week's SC09 conference, includins items on the Aurora supercomputer, NVIDIa's Fermi GPU, Al Gore's keynote speech, the Green 500 rankings, and federal agencies embracing SSD storage from Fusion-io.

A look at the Aurora supercomputer from Eurotech, which uses liquid cooling and SSD memory.

A look at the Aurora supercomputer from Eurotech, which uses liquid cooling and SSD memory.

There was lots of news last week from the SC09 conference in Portland. Here's a roundup of some items that we didn't get a chance to cover last week:

  • Eurotech, which previously focused on wearable computers and other "special purpose platforms," has entered the HPC/supercomputing fray with Aurora, a design that uses direct liquid cooling and solid state storage to offer energy-efficient horsepower (see photo above).
  • The new product generating the most buzz and discussion was the rollout of its new Fermi GPU product for high performance computing from NVIDIA, whose presentations on the technology drew large crowds.
  • Former vice president and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore was the keynote speaker, and reminded attendees that he attended the first SC event in 1988. Gore's message was that it was "up to HPC experts to make global warming real to people, as well as do the modeling for climate change," The Register noted in its coverage. At InsideHPC, John West said Gore's speech was "good for the community — like him or hate him, SC09 got loads of international press coverage that we would have never gotten if Al Gore hadn’t spoken at our conference this year."
  • While the Top 500 ranks the most powerful supercomputers, the Green 500 ranks supercomputers based on energy efficiency. At SC09 it was announced that the Green 500 is expanding the definition of a supercomputer to include a wider spectrum of the high-end computing world with the "Little Green500" list and opening its doors to innovation with two new exploratory lists: the "Open Green500" and "HPCC Green500."
  • Fusion-io announced that two unnamed government organizations will each deploy hundreds of terabytes of the company's solid-state storage capacity, which in these configurations is capable of sustaining over one terabyte per second (1TB/s) of aggregate bandwidth with access latencies under 50 microseconds.
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