Supercomputer Leaps to New Peaks
At the top of the show we discuss whether Indiana (where Jessi is located at Purdue) is in the heartland or not. We all agree that it is and, yes, Jessi sees Larry Bird all the time.
Getting into the heart of the episode, Dan talks about the briefing he received on the new Lawrence Livermore El Capitan system to be built by HPE/Cray. This new $600 million system will be fueled by the AMD Genoa processor coupled with AMD’s Instinct GPUs. Performance should come in at TWO 64-bit exaflops peak, which is very, very sporty. The new box (more like a room) will be 10x faster than today’s fastest supercomputer and faster than the top 200 supercomputers in the world – combined.
As the show continues, we talk about the specifics of the system and components. Henry make the unfortunate mistake of bringing up IEEE floating point and sending Dan into a mini-rant. Back to the show, the system should require somewhere close to 30MW worth of electricity, which is much lower than the nearly 60MW predicted just a year or so ago. Not surprisingly, the system will be liquid cooled, but not, as we speculate, cooled by Slushy machines. We have a tremendous tech talk around the varying aspects of the machine and AMD’s great progress in clawing their way back into the market. Well worth a listen.
Why No One Should Ever Be Online. Ever.
In this edition, Henry talks about how an ultrasonic hack can make your phone vulnerable to pownership. Just sending the exact right frequency of sound to a phone sitting on a solid object might be enough to unlock it and let a miscreant get at all of your goodies. Yikes!
Catch of the Week
Jessi: Astronaut applications have opened up again! If you ever wanted to go to space, this might be your chance. You’ll want to have a strong science and computing background – plus hero or heroine good looks wouldn’t hurt either.
Shahin: Discusses AMD vs. NVIDIA GPU comparative shipment figures from 4Q2019.
Henry: Net is empty, ouch.
Dan: Bees can count to six, which is hugely disquieting. If bees can do math, we might be doomed. Maybe this is why beehives are hexagonal?
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