Future Technologies on the Rise for HPC

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While the future of HPC will involve myriad different technologies, one thing is clear – the future of HPC involves a considerably greater degree of parallelism than we are seeing today. A large driver for this increased parallelism is the use of increasingly parallel processors and accelerator technologies such as Intel’s Knights Landing and Nvidia’s GPUs.

Today the clearest path for exascale is through the use of increasingly parallel computing architectures. Partly this is due to savings in energy efficiency that use large numbers of low-power energy efficient processors – but also the performance introduced by accelerators such as GPUs and Intel’s ‘Knights Landing’. Accelerators have continued to grow in popularity in recent years – but one company, Nvidia, has made significant progress when compared to its rivals.

One challenge that is created by the increasingly parallel nature of processor architectures is the increased number of threads or sets of instructions that need to be carried out by a cluster. As the number of processors and threads increases, so must the performance of the data storage system, as it must feed data into each processor element. In the past it was flops or memory bandwidth that would limit HPC applications – but, as parallelism increases, the importance of input/output operations (I/O) becomes increasingly important to sustained application performance.

To solve this issue storage companies are developing several new methods and technologies for data storage. These range from the use of flash memory for caching, as well as in-data processing and improvements, to the way that parallel file systems handle complex I/O.

Read more at insideHPC