Archive for August, 2005

Grids and medical research down under

Monday, August 29th, 2005

The Australian Research Council (ARC), an Australian equivalent of the NSF, recently awarded more than $3.5 milliion over the next couple of years for grid computing technologies aimed to increase medical research collaboration. One key beneficiary of the grant, Dr. Andrew Lonie of the University of Melbourne, will be using his share of the funds to work on the international Physiome Project, the successor to the Human Genome effort, which has a goal to

describe the human organism quantitatively, so that one can understand its physiology and pathophysiology, and to use this understanding to improve human health.

As part of this new ongoing effort, Dr. Lonie’s research centers around modeling and simulation of the human kidney, via the Kidney Simulation Project.

Continued funding for grid technologies and the maturation of high-speed networking will boost opportunities for international reearch collaboration and engagement. The result will be the ability to link the worlds foremost authorities in medical science to massive amounts of data, which will ultimately lead to quicker solutions to, and better treatment for, both local and global health issues.

IPv6 and supercomputing unite

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

New York University reported last week that they are the first American university to provide IPv6 to a supercomputer. IPv6, created to supplant the ageing IPv4, is slowly but surely making its way into the cyberinfrastructure fabric. The NYU system, an IBM eServer ranked 117th on the latest Top500 list, is the flagship system of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and has a peak performance of 4.5 Teraflops.

Connecting this system to the NYSERNet network in New York state is providing enormous collaborative opportunities to the other New York academic institutions and is another great example of critical partnerships. This new supercomputer is the result of a partnership between IBM, NYU, the US Army and Navy.

For more information, see the NYU press release or this release sent to and posted by Internet2.

CBEA chip architecture explained

Friday, August 26th, 2005

IBM has released some introductory info on a new chip architecture originally designed to alleviate memory latency issues in game consoles and other devices but with broader applications on the horizon. Called “Cell Broadband Engine Architecture (CBEA)” or just Cell, the new architecture combines a single Power Processor Element with mulitple (eight) Synergistic Processor Elements on a single-chip multiprocessor. The more detailed introductory information can be found in “Cell Broadband Engine Architecture from 20,000 feet”, by Dr. H. Peter Hofstee at IBM.

The Register also has a piece on the Cell.

TeraGrid extension in Information Week

Friday, August 19th, 2005

Information Week covered the new TeraGrid dollars in its most recent issue. Scientific Gateways get play:

Historically, scientists who needed access to the most powerful computers have been willing to adapt their work to the requirements of large supercomputers, Catlett says. The goal of the science gateways is to provide Web applications and PC software that can give scientists in a given field a common way of running programs on Teragrid machines. Says Catlett, “It’s one of the most exciting things we’re doing.”

The Supercomputing Race

Friday, August 19th, 2005

Today’s New York Times features an article on Racing to build the world’s mightiest computer, pointing out that both China and Japan recently announced plans to break the petaflop barrier, as did a French company, and that several U.S. computer companies are also in the race. The article also points out that the United States typically puts its most powerful computers to work on classified tasks, rather than making them available for open research:

While the United States has regained the lead in supercomputing achievement, its researchers have benefited unevenly. The armed forces and intelligence agencies have traditionally commanded the very largest computing systems here, for example, while other countries have devoted their speediest computers to other efforts, notably research on climate change.

Karin in “Voice of San Diego”

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

A brief interview with SDSC’s Sid Karin appeared Monday in Voice of San Diego, an independent news and information site. Heavy on the future of consumer computing and the digital era, not much on HPC or CI.

(Hat tip to Slashdot.)

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