ISC Offers Mid-Year Supercomputing Roundup for Users, Vendors

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 9:43am

This year’s International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’13) will offer something for nearly everyone in the high performance computing (HPC) community.  Now in its 28th year, ISC is recognized as the premier HPC conference and exhibition for Europe, but one that attracts all the major vendors and users from around the world. The conference will run five days, from June 16th through the 20th, and is on track to bring in 2,500 attendees and over 160 exhibitors.

The exhibition, which runs June 17th through the 19th, showcases a global array of vendors, government labs and universities that offer HPC systems, services, and research opportunities for all types of users. Although there will be a preponderance of European and US organizations at the event, exhibitors from every continent will be represented.

For the first time in its history, ISC will be hosted in Leipzig, an up-and-coming city in what used to be East Germany until 1989. Leipzig offers a wide range of activities for travelers and is a center of German culture. It’s been home to some of Germany’s most renowned composers and philosophers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Friedrich Schiller. Today Leipzig is attracting a new creative class — entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of the city’s low rents and young, enterprising population.

ISC’13 will attract its own share of entrepreneurs in June, with a new Industry Track, aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the so-called “Missing Middle” of HPC. The Missing Middle is an elusive set of technical computing users that have, thus far, resisted making the jump from workstations to HPC clusters. These entry-level users are considered the largest untapped market for HPC hardware and software and have understandably become a prime focus for HPC vendors.

The two-day Industry Track (June 18-19) will include sessions on the SME HPC market and what vendors and government labs can do to help more of these enterprises adopt more advanced computing technologies. The University of Illinois’ Merle Giles will present a session detailing the similarities and differences between HPC for academic research and that of industry. Jon Riley (National Center for Manufacturing Sciences), Dominique Lefebvre (ESI Group), Benoit Vautrin (Oxala), and Marc Lievrier (Serviware) will talk about how manufacturers can overcome the challenges of migrating their desktop engineering applications to HPC by employing cloud and uster solutions.

Also on tap is a chat session hosted by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Horst Simon, which will focus on how the HPC community can help engage the Missing Middle. Finally, nine case studies will be presented, detailing the use of HPC solutions across a number of engineering applications, with special focus on the automotive and energy sectors. The importance of “big data” applications for SMEs will also be covered.

Much of the rest of the conference will focus on more elite HPC applications and technologies, especially those used by researchers in academia and government. Two sessions on state-of-the-art supercomputing will focus on applications in life science, fusion energy, superconducting, energy production and gas turbine engineering. Another presentation on the role of HPC in the oil and gas sector will highlight some of the latest application research in that field. In the life science space, an overview of how HPC systems are used to unravel the inner workings of brains, genomes, and other biological structures will be delivered in a special session.

For computer scientists, there will be plenty of tutorials to choose from on June 16, including a series of presentations on HPC programming models and tools. This multi-part session will include the traditional HPC programming models based on FORTRAN and MPI, but will also highlight the latest software frameworks for GPUs and Intel’s manycore Xeon Phi coprocessor.  Also offered will be a look ahead at future programming models for exascale supercomputers.

For HPC hardware aficionados, there are a number of sessions that will focus on different aspects of system design.  These include the traditional bottleneck areas of I/O, memory and networks, but also on chips and system architectures. Energy-efficient supercomputing will be a common theme across these presentations.

There will be a special talk on the EU-sponsored Human Brain Project, Dr. Henry Markram’s 10-year, 1.2 billion Euro research efforts to simulate the functioning of the human brain. The project is a multi-disciplinary attempt to use supercomputing to model the brain in order to understand cognition, behavior and neurological disorders. Markram has been given a permanent speaking platform at ISC so that he can share the project’s latest findings and how supercomputing technology is enabling their research.

The new TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers will be announced on the opening day of ISC’13. Industry watchers, media, and analysts have been following the progression of the now 20-year old list, which has become a source of national pride and technological credibility for those countries able to field top systems. This list will reflect the latest crop of petascale supercomputers that have come online since the previous list announced last November.

ISC’s other mainstay sessions –the Vendor Showdown, HPCwire’s Think Tank, and Intersect360 Research’s Analyst Crossfire — will also be featured, as well as the four keynotes.  The opening keynote is a forward look at future extreme-scale computing and will be delivered by Bill Dally, NVIDIA’s chief scientist and senior vice president. He is expected to talk about the challenges of energy efficient and scalability with regard to these machines and some of the new technologies that will need to be developed to power them.

Not on the agenda, but certainly on the minds of attendees, are the numerous opportunities they will have to speak with old friends and new contacts between sessions as well as during the nightly social events. Despite its growing size, the event has managed to retain a small-conference experience, offering a place for comfortable conversations and the opportunity to compare notes with colleagues. As in years gone by, ISC’13 will be the place to be in June for users and vendors to reconnect with their fellow HPC enthusiasts over some authentic German beer and food.

ISC’13 Keynotes (June 17 – 20)

Conference Keynote:
Future Challenges of Large-Scale Computing

Tuesday Keynote:
Moore’s Law 2020

Wednesday Keynote:
HPC Achievement & Impact 2013

Thursday Keynote:
Fooling the Masses with Performance Results: Old Classics & Some New Ideas

ISC’13 Tutorials (June 16)

Morning Tutorials (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)

Tutorial 01: Performance Analysis & Optimization on Extreme-Scale Systems

Tutorial 03: Advanced OpenMP Programming

Tutorial 04: InfiniBand & High-speed Ethernet for Dummies

Tutorial 05: Hands-on with CUDA: C/C++ & Fortran

Tutorial 06: A Beginner’s Guide to SuperComputing

Tutorial 07: Dense Linear Algebra with MAGMA and PLASMA

Afternoon Tutorials (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

Tutorial 09: Hybrid Parallel Programming with MPI & OpenMP

Tutorial 10: Hands-on with Intel Xeon Phi

Tutorial 11: Advanced Topics in InfiniBand & High-Speed Ethernet for Designing HEC Systems

Tutorial 12: Hands-on with OpenACC

Tutorial 13: OpenCL for Heterogeneous Clusters

Tutorial 14: Large-Scale I/O with ADIOS

Full-Day Tutorials (9:00 am – 6:00 pm)

Tutorial 02: Node-Level Performance Engineering

Tutorial 08: Advanced Parallel Programming with MPI


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