Tuesday, 1 June 2010

NAG at ISC 2010

NAG is attending International Supercomputing 2010 in Hamburg, Europe's largest Supercomputing conference. Attendence is apparently at its highest ever and many of the sessions have been standing-room only. During Thomas Sterling's talk yesterday, on "Parallel Computing in the Years to Come", there were people sitting in the aisles and listening from outside in the corridor. The conference starts with the announcement of the latest Top 500 List, and the big news was that a Chinese system, Nebulae, was now number 2, behind Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US. This is the second Chinese system to get into the top 10 and, like Tianhe-1, currently at number 7 in the list, it gets its performance from GPUs. In fact its theoretical peak performance is higher than Jaguar's, but it is hard to achieve that performance with existing software development tools. GPUs are very much the flavour of the moment. There are some interesting new products for GPU programming, in particular both Allinea and TotalView have versions of their parallel debuggers for CUDA code. The NAG booth has been very busy and it seems that at least half the people who drop by are interested in our own software for GPUs, currently available for beta testing. The feedbacks and suggestions for additional functionality will be a great help to us in bringing this product to market. The other interesting development in this area is that we're seeing increasing interest in software for OpenCL, largely due to the adoption of ATI cards. We'd love to hear from people who are using OpenCL and would like to make use of numerical components such as ours.

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