Lower power InfiniBand, Cool Opterons, CUDA+LAPACK, HPC in the Cloud, and more
Welcome back to work, the summer is almost over and here are some things that may have happened while you were on vacation. First, I should mention, it is August 31 and I'm not sure if the temperature is going to break 70 F today. I live in the northeast part of the US and typically at this time each year the lawns are brown, the air is thick with humidity, and thunderstorms usually role in each afternoon to cool off our 90+ degree days. Not today. It must be due to all the new low wattage green technology hitting the computer market.
For example, InfiniBand vendor Mellanox has just announced the ConnectX-2 line of I/O adapter device products. These new devices offer 40Gb/s InfiniBand, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) or Fibre Channel over InfiniBand (FCoIB) solutions at up to 30% less power consumption than their predecessors. In addition, the ConnectX-2 line has an integrated NIC and PHY that provides additional cost and power savings by minimizing board real-estate.
If you are still too hot, how about the new six core AMD Opteron that runs at 40 Watts. Here are some details, the full name is Opteron 2419 EE, it starts shipping today, power consumption is 40 Watts, Clock speed is 1.8 Ghz, and uses DDR2 memory. Based on those numbers, that is less than 7 Watts per core. This is rather impressive if you consider that back in the day a 1.733 GHz Athlon XP ran somewhere north of 70 Watts. Not sure how this will play in HPC, but it nice to know that companies are taking the power issue very seriously. Oh yea, the cost is a cool $989.
Speaking of things that sound like cool, NVidia has announced CULA (CUDA + LAPACK). CULA is EM Photonics' GPU-accelerated numerical linear algebra library that contains a growing list of LAPACK functions. A full production release of CULA is scheduled for NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference, being held from September 30th to October 2nd at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. Anyone interested in downloading the beta preview of CULA
Heading into the clouds, Penguin Computing has announced HPC As A Service or POD (Penguin on Demand). While you may have heard promises about HPC in the cloud, Penguin has the smarts to pull it off. To learn more, check out the data sheet (pdf) and the press release.
I'll finish up with some article/talks on cool topics that you may find interesting. First, if you want to learn a bit more about Btrfs check out the presentation given by Przemek Klosowski at the Washington D.C. Linux User Group (DCLUG). In case you forgot, Btrfs which stands for B-Tree File System, (pronounced ButterEffEss), is the new Linux file system that may replace the EXT family as the default storage for Linux. It can do some really cool stuff and was recently added to the kernel.
Finally, there is nothing like plugging ones own work. I have recently written two articles for the HPC Community web site. The first is called Programming GP-GPUs: Options and Answers and the second is entitled HPC Benchmarking: A Quick Primer, check them out.
One more thing, maybe you noticed those banners for Singularity Summit. If you are in the area and are curious about where high-tech is taking us, check it out. I am planning on attending.