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GCN : December 2013
Lawrence Livermore National Labo- ratory is collaborating with Intel and Cray on a "one-of-a-kind" high perfor- mance computing cluster designed to break new ground in HPC simulation and lead to better big data analysis. Catalyst, a Cray CS300 cluster supercomputer, has a unique design and is intended to serve as something of a foundation for future ap- proaches to supercomputing, particularly with regard to data-intensive applications. The 150 tera op machine will be shared among the three partners with access rights based on level of investment and managed through LLNL's High Performance Computing Innovation Center, LLNL of- cials said. Delivered to LLNL in late October, Catalyst is expected to be in general use by December. "Big data unlocks an entirely new method of discovery by deriving the solution to a problem from the massive sets of data itself," said Raj Hazra, Intel vice president and general manager of the Technical Computing Group. "To research new ways of translating big data into knowledge, we had to design a one-of-a-kind system." Catalyst includes 324 nodes and 7,776 cores with 12-core Intel E5- 2695v2 processors, 128 GB of dy- namic RAM per node, 800 GB of non- volatile memory per compute node, and 3.2 TB of non-volatile memory. It runs the Tri-lab Open Source Software for a common user environment and includes an expanded node lo- cal non-volatile storage tier, for application check-pointing, visu- alization, out-of-core algorithms and big data analytics. The increased storage capac- ity of the system --- in both volatile and non-volatile memory --- is a step up from classic simulation-based computing ar- chitectures used at Energy De- partment laboratories, of cials said. The storage advances will open new doors for explor- ing the potential of combining oating-point-focused capability with data analysis in one environment. • Energy lab could spur the next generation of HPC BY RUTRELL YASIN [BrieFing] Catalyst, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's new Cray cluster, will explore new approaches to HPC and Big Data technologies and architectures. LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY Dave Hakkens' Phoneblok idea is get- ting some traction. The project, which envisions phones as open-source, modular devices whose individual components can be changed out and upgraded as needed, recently got almost a million backers on the Thun- derclap website, showing that many people would buy such a phone if it was available. Meanwhile, Motorola, which had been quietly working on a similar idea called Project Ara, has publicly joined the ef- fort. Motorola will work on Project Ara in the open, engaging with the Phonebloks community throughout the development process. In a few months, the company expects to invite developers to start creating modules for the Ara platform. Like the Phoneblok, Ara uses a frame to hold the modules in place. A module, according to the Motorola blog, could be a new application processor, a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter and so on. The idea is to let people customize their phones, or upgrade or replace parts without buying an entire new phone. For feds, something like the Phone- blok could be a perfect BYOD phone. Those who needed a bigger screen or a faster processor could con gure one exactly how they wanted. And those who aren't allowed to have a camera in their workplaces could simply leave that block blank or ll it with something more useful, like a bigger hard drive. The idea does have some doubters, who say Phonebloks would be impos- sible to build, as components couldn't share a common interface due to wildly different power and data interfaces. And given current technology, that's probably true. But if given some type of platform to work with, developers just might come up with lots of uses for a Phoneblok, and even individual compo- nents for it. • Motorola brings modular phones closer to reality BY JOHN BREEDEN II 6 GCN DECEMBER 2013 • GCN.COM