NERSC has accepted its first petaflops supercomputer—a 153,216-core Cray XE6. The new flagship system is called “Hopper” in honor of American computer scientist Grace Hopper, who was a pioneer in the field of software development and programming languages. The system is currently the fifth most powerful supercomputer in the world and the second most powerful in the United States, according to the latest edition of the TOP500 list. More>
Fluorine-14 exists for only a tiny fraction of a second before a proton “drips” off, leaving an oxygen-13 nucleus behind. Computer models predicted its existence; a research team recently confirmed it; and now it's helping scientists better understand the strong force. Like gravity, the strong interaction is a fundamental force of nature. It is the essential "glue" that holds atomic nuclei together to form atoms.
As the next generation of packet-optical integration permeates multi-layer Internet architecture as well as telecom equipment designs, valuable lessons can be drawn from hybrid network concepts championed and operationalized by research and education (R&E) networks. In fact, the ESnet4 hybrid architecture, conceived in 2006 and made operational in 2008, consists of separate physical wavelengths for IP-routed and dynamic virtual-circuit services. IEEE Communications Magazine’s May 2011 special issue on hybrid networking includes three ESnet co-authored articles. More>
As data volumes increase, making sense of all this data increasingly requires an ability to quickly find essential pieces of information buried in a mountain of bytes. To address this challenge, computer scientists at the Berkeley Lab developed a new approach to searching massive databases. Embodied in open-source software called FastBit, the new method can search massive databases 10 to 100 times faster than large commercial database software, depending on the specific application. More>
James W. Demmel, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has a joint appointment in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Computational Research Division, is one of 72 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Election to the NAS recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The May 3 election at the NAS annual meeting brings the total number of active members to 2,113. More>
David E. Culler, Professor and Chair of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, Associate Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Associate CIO of the College of Engineering has been appointed Faculty Director of the i4Energy Center. Culler is also a faculty researcher in the Berkeley Lab Computational Research Division’s Future Technologies Group.
The i4Energy Center is a collaboration among the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS: UC Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz), the California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE), and the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The mission of the Center is to facilitate and promote research on system-integrated enabling technologies that will achieve better energy efficiency, improved demand/response, and dramatic improvements in energy distribution. More>
NERSC and CRD staff gave 11 talks at the 53rd Cray User Group (CUG) meeting, “Golden Nuggets of Discovery,” in Fairbanks, Alaska, from May 23–26. The meeting was hosted by the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center. Nick Cardo of NERSC who is CUG president led the business sessions.
• Katie Antypas: Transitioning Applications from the Franklin XT4 System with 4 Cores per Node to the Hopper XE6 System with 24 Cores per Node.
• Katie Antypas: Performance of Atomic and Molecular Collision Codes on the Cray XE6
• Julian Borrill: Cosmic Microwave Background Data Analysis at the Petascale and Beyond
• Tina Butler: DVS, GPFS and External Lustre at NERSC — How It’s Working on Hopper
• Jonathan Carter: The Hopper System: How the Largest XE6 in the World Went From Requirements to Reality
• Kirsten Fagnan: Acceleration of Porous Media Simulations on the Cray XE6 Platform
• Yun (Helen) He: Benchmark Performance of Different Compilers on a Cray XE6
• Jim Mellander: High Performance Network Intrusion Detection in the HPC Environment
• Praveen Narayanan and Alice Koniges: Performance Characterization and Implications for Magnetic Fusion Co-Design Applications
• Nicholas Wright: The NERSC–Cray Center of Excellence: Performance Optimization for the Multicore Era
• Zhengji Zhao: Performance of Density Functional Theory codes on Cray XE6
Despite its prevalence in nature, researchers are still searching for the precise laws that govern the strong force. However, the recent discovery in laboratory experiments of an extremely exotic, short-lived nucleus called fluorine-14 may indicate that scientists are gaining a better grasp of these rules. A team of researchers led by James Vary, a physicist at Iowa State University, was the first to predict the properties of fluorine-14, with the help of scientists from Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, and DOE supercomputers at NERSC and OLCF. The resulting fundamental predictions served as motivations for experiments conducted by Vladilen Goldberg’s team at Texas A&M’s Cyclotron Institute, which achieved the first sightings of fluorine-14. More>
Despite being cool, ultra-efficient and long lasting, the light-emitting diode (LED) faces a problem called “efficiency droop.” New findings from simulations carried out at the National Energy Research Scientific Computer Center (NERSC) have unearthed droop’s elusive cause, researchers say, paving the way for wider LED use. More>
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