GCS @ ISC'14
GCS @ ISC'14 in Leipzig (June 22-26, 2014) - A Review
At ISC’14 in Leipzig, the 64 sqm large booth of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) was once again one of the most popular gathering points for the international HPC community. The open and inviting concept of the booth, targeted to encourage the ISC participants to stop by and interexchange with the GCS representatives, has once again proved its merit. The GCS booth was always busy. Countless like-minded HPC users, researchers, technology leaders, scientists, IT-decision makers as well as high tech media representatives visited the GCS booth to meet and talk with the directors of the three GCS centres Prof. Arndt Bode (LRZ), Prof. Thomas Lippert (JSC), Prof. Michael Resch (HLRS), GCS managing director Dr. Claus Axel Müller, as well as with the present scientists of the three GCS centres.
TOP500: GCS Continues to Play Leading Role in HPC
Many conference attendees consider the release of the latest TOP500 list one of the most important components of ISC. While the 43rd edition of the TOP500 lacked of big surprises--there was little change among the ranking of the world’s top 10 supercomputers—it delivered proof that GCS continues to play a leading role in HPC. JSC’s HPC system JUQUEEN took place 8 on the list and LRZ’s SuperMUC occupied position 12. Hermit of HLRS, as the longest serving GCS HPC system which debuted in 12/2011, still shines in the TOP500-sublist for industrially used supercomputers where it holds a very strong 3rd place worldwide.
The positions of the GCS supercomputers are especially worth mentioning as neither system underwent any hardware upgrades in the last 18 months. LRZ’s SuperMUC and the HPC infrastructure of HLRS will see system expansions in the forthcoming year.
Untouched No. 1 in the TOP500 remained Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, with a peak performance of 55 Petaflops (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark.
New HPC Benchmark in the Spotlight: HPCG
ISC saw the debut of a brand new gender of HPC benchmark, the HPCG (High Performance Conjugate Gradient). This novel benchmarking tool, which was initiated by Linpack co-founder Professor Dr. Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee, USA), received wide attention as it takes real world application needs and current architectural and system design trends into greater account—facts that the current measurement for the Top500, the LINPACK benchmark, is neglecting.
GCS centre LRZ was one of just 15 supercomputing centres worldwide to submit data for the new HPCG benchmark. With a performance of 83.3 Teraflops, showing an efficiency rate of 2.9 per cent of the peak system performance, SuperMUC at first go captured position 6 on the HPCG ranking.
ISC’14 Gauss Award Winner
Each year at ISC, GCS presents the Gauss Award to recognize the most outstanding paper in the field of scalable supercomputing from all papers accepted for the ISC’14 Research Paper Sessions.
This year, the award honoured the paper "Exascale Radio Astronomy: Can We Ride the Technology Wave?"
Three of the four award winners - Erik Vermij, Leandro Fiorin, and Christoph Hagleitner (all of IBM Research) and Koen Bertels of Delft University of Technology - were present at ISC to personally accept the winning certificate, handed over by GCS Chairman of the Board, Professor Michael M. Resch.
PRACE-ISC 2014 Award for Users of HPC System SuperMUC
With SuperMUC of LRZ Garching, GCS provided again the platform for a team of scientists to win another ISC’14 award. At the ISC Opening Session, the PRACE-ISC Award was announced for the paper entitled “Sustained Petascale Performance of Seismic Simulations with SeisSol on SuperMUC”.
The authors presented their work later that same day showing an extreme scalability of the ADER code on the full configuration of SuperMUC at LRZ (Germany), one of the 6 Tier-0 systems of PRACE.
The winning paper was authored by Alexander Breuer, TU München; Alexander Heinecke, TU München; Sebastian Rettenberger; TU München; Michael Bader, TU München; Alice-Agnes Gabriel, LMU München; and Christian Pelties, LMU München.
Large Media Interest
The directors of the three GCS member centres were of high demand as discussion partners and information sources for the international journalists. Several interviews were conducted in which the directors talked about GCS and HPC in Germany in general and during which they in particular emphasized the benefit the GCS supercomputer infrastructure delivers to science and research. They did so in pointing out several GCS large scale projects which set new world records in simulation runs and which helped obtain unprecedented details that allowed to further the until now limited knowledge about some of the most pressing scientific riddles and challenges of our time. Some examples are the SeisSol seismic simulation project by Prof. Bader (Technische Universität München) (link to GCS project page), the Illustris astrophysics simulation project by Prof. Springel (Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien) (link to GCS website/press release), and the theoretical mechanochemistry project by Prof. Marx of Ruhr-Universität Bochum (link to GCS project page), just to name a few.
GCS Booth Highlights
HLRS attracted lots of attention through their hands-on Augmented Reality demo analysing simulation results of the airflow and pressure distribution around a 3D scanned triathlete on his racing bicycle. By moving a camera around the bicycle or even ride the bicycle themselves, visitors could immediately observe changes to the airflow resulting from various riding positions of the triathlete. This method helps triathletes to find and verify the most efficient riding position on their racing bikes and to analyse individual mounted accessories and helmets. HLRS further showcased interactive 3D visualizations of simulation results on a large, tiled 3D display wall. Applications ranged from weather and combustion simulations to interactive simulations of water power plants.
JSC presented LLview, the in-house developed comprehensive interactive monitoring software for supercomputers, demonstrating live the operation of various supercomputers worldwide. In addition, JSC also showed the LLview monitoring components of the Eclipse PTP development environment for supercomputing applications. A wide spectrum of scientific results obtained with the JSC supercomputers, ranging from neuroscience to climate and universe science, were exhibited in 2D presentation videos and animations.
LRZ focused on highlighting their HPC system SuperMUC and presented current science and research projects in 2D-videos. During the coffee breaks of the official conference, LRZ ran a series of well accepted short presentations on the GCS booth on various HPC subjects and up to date projects, such as:
* Introducing the Intel Parallel Computing Centre at LRZ
* Extreme Scaling on SuperMUC
* SuperMUC Phase 2
* Energy Aware Scheduling
* SeisSol on SuperMUC
The International Supercomputing Conference has seen an extremely positive feedback by the scientific community and has proven to be the number one event in Supercomputing together with the US Supercomputing conference. The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing as a main supporter of the conference and fair has contributed in a variety of activities to this success and continues to endorse ISC.
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