ISC10 Roundup: Intel, SGI, Bull, Cray

Intel (INTC) outlines plans for its "Knights Corner" 50-core processors, SGI unveils its Petaflop in a Cabinet offering, French atomic agency powers up its Tera 100 supercomputer, Cray receives order for XT6m system.

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Here’s a roundup of some of the headlines from the International Supercomputer Conference (ISC) being held this week in Hamburg Germany:

Intel unveils HPC product plans. During the ISC Intel (INTC) announced plans to deliver new products based on the Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture that will create platforms running at trillions of calculations per second, while also retaining the benefits of standard Intel processors. Codenamed "Knights Corner" the first product will use the Intel 22-nanometer process and use Moore's Law to scale to more than 50 Intel cores.  "The Intel MIC architecture will extend Intel's leading HPC products and solutions that are already in nearly 82 percent of the world's top supercomputers," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "Today's investments are indicative of Intel's growing commitment to the global HPC community," Intel also said that along with Forschungszentrum Julich (FZJ) and ParTec they will announce a multi-year commitment to create the ExaCluster Laboratory (ECL) at Julich to address the challenge of running large-scale simulations in the multi petaflops and exaflops range of computing.

SGI Unveils Petaflop in a Cabinet. SGI announced at the ISC that it has developed a breakthrough hybrid computing platform that will deliver a petaflop of performance within a single cabinet. The new platform offers GPU processing capabilities from NVIDIA and ATI, as well as accelerator-based technology from Tilera and other PCIe based solutions. "SGI shows its R&D strength again," said Steve Conway, IDC research vice president for high performance computing. "Following closely on the heels of the Altix UV series, SGI has introduced a highly dense, scalable technology designed for strong sustained performance on very demanding HPC applications."  SGI also announced that their Altix ICE 8400 set a world record for scalability running the 111 million cell ANSYS FLUENT 12.0 benchmark.  Seventeen of the Top 500 supercomputers on the June 2010 list were SGI.

Europe's Tera Supercomputer Powered Up. The Military Applications Department of the French Atomic Energy Authority (the CEA) and Bull announced the CEA's new Tera 100 supercomputer has been powered up for the first time.  With a theoretical 1.25 petaFLOPS the Tera 100 is aimed at guaranteeing the reliability of nuclear deterrent weapons. It consists of 4,300 Bullx S Series servers, 140,000 Intel Xeon 7500 processing cores 300TB of central memory and over 20 Petabytes of storage.  "Representing the biggest system ever designed around Intel Xeon processors, Tera 100 demonstrates the appropriateness of using Intel processors for High-Performance Computing, in terms of cost, power consumption and processing power," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and group data center general manager at Intel. Late last year Bull debuted its Mobull Container for High Performance Computing.

Cray Receives XT6m Order. Cray announced that Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) has ordered a Cray XT6m supercomputing system.  The new Cray XT6m supercomputer, which uses the new 12-core AMD Opteron 6100 Series processor, will support scientists in a wide range of disciplines, including computational chemistry, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics, computational fluid dynamics and other areas. "The Cray XT6m supercomputer has been a huge success with top European research institutions that need a higher performing and more tightly integrated production system than commodity clusters can offer," said Dr. Erwin Laure, director of the PDC Center for High Performance Computing.

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