Monday, June 23, 2014

Intel Unveils Knights Landing Processor and Omni Scale I/O Fabric

Intel announced microarchitecture and memory details of its next-generation Intel Xeon Phi processor (code-named Knights Landing) and an end-to-end interconnect fabric optimized for fast data transfers, both aimed at powering High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems.

Knights Landing, which is expected to debut in the second half of 2015, will include up to16GB high-bandwidth, on-package memory at launch – designed in partnership with Micron – to deliver five times better bandwidth compared to DDR4 memory, five times better energy efficiency and three times more density than current GDDR-based memory. Knights Landing will be available in a PCIe-based card option, or mounted directly on the motherboard socket to remove the bandwidth bottlenecks of data transfer over PCIe, common in GPU and accelerator solutions.

Powered by more than 60 HPC-enhanced Silvermont architecture-based cores, Knights Landing is expected to deliver more than 3 TFLOPS of double-precision performance and three times the single-threaded performance compared with the current generation.

Intel's new Omni Scale fabric, which is built upon a combination of enhanced acquired IP from Cray and QLogic along with tis own in-house innovations, addresses the I/O requirements of the HPC sector.  Intel Omni Scale Fabric is an end-to-end I/O solution encompassing adapters, edge switches, director switch systems, cables and management software. Intel intends to replace traditional electrical transceivers in the director switches with silicon photonics, enabling increased port density, simplified cabling and reduced costs. Intel Silicon Photonics-based cabling and transceiver solutions may also be used with Intel Omni Scale-based processors, adapter cards and edge switches.

Intel noted continued market gains in powering the HPC sector.  The company said its current generation of Xeon processors and Xeon Phi coprocessors powers the top-rated system in the world – the 35 PFLOPS "Milky Way 2" in China, and its designs account for 85 percent of all supercomputers on the 43rd edition of the TOP500 list.

http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/06/23/intel-re-architects-the-fundamental-building-block-for-high-performance-computing

Micron Collaborates with Intel on Knights Landing

Micron Technology is working with Intel to deliver an on-package memory solution for Intel's next-generation Xeon Phi processor, codenamed Knights Landing. The on-going collaboration leverages fundamental DRAM and stacking technologies also found in Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube products.

The on package memory combines high-speed logic and DRAM layers into one optimized package that will set a new industry benchmark for performance and energy efficiency. Intel said Knights Landing will deliver 5X the sustained memory bandwidth versus DDR4 with one-third the energy per bit in half the footprint.

"Intel's many integrated cores (MIC) architecture and Micron's high performance memory is a formidable combination," said Tom Eby, vice president for Micron's compute and networking business unit. "Intel's and Micron's advanced technologies successfully marry the processor to a memory system that delivers the very rare coupling of low power and extreme bandwidth."

"The next-generation Intel® Xeon Phi processor, codenamed Knights Landing, will launch with up to 16GB of high performance, on-package memory that delivers dramastically improved the sustained memory bandwidth versus DDR4 and brings tremendous power-efficiency and space-savings. It is the first Intel HPC processor to use this new high performance on package memory," said Charles Wuischpard, Vice President, General Manager, Workstations and High Performance Computing Data Center Group at Intel. "This will allow the world's leading researchers, scientists, and engineers to run larger workloads faster while maintaining current code investments. We're pleased to be working with Micron to deliver it."

http://investors.micron.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=856057


More on Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube


NVIDIA and Partners Develop GPU-accelerated ARM64 Servers for HPC

NVIDIA is seeing progress in leverage its GPU accelerators in supercomputers.  Multiple server vendors are now developing 64-bit ARM development systems integrating its NVIDIA GPU processors for high performance computing (HPC).

The new ARM64 servers feature Applied Micro X-GeneARM64 CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU accelerators.  The systems use the hundreds of existing CUDA-accelerated scientific and engineering HPC applications by simply recompiling them to ARM64 systems.

The first GPU-accelerated ARM64 development platforms will be available in July from Cirrascale Corp. and E4 Computer Engineering, with production systems expected to ship later this year. The Eurotech Group also plans to ship production systems later this year. System details include:

  • Cirrascale RM1905D - High-density two-in-one 1U server with two Tesla K20 GPU accelerators; provides high-performance, low total cost of ownership for private cloud, public cloud, HPC, and enterprise applications.
  • E4 EK003 - Production-ready, low-power 3U, dual-motherboard server appliance with two Tesla K20 GPU accelerators, designed for seismic, signal and image processing, video analytics, track analysis, web applications and MapReduce processing. 
  • Eurotech - Ultra-high density, energy efficient and modular Aurora HPC server configuration, based on proprietary Brick Technology and featuring direct hot liquid cooling.

"We aim to leverage the latest technology advances, both within and beyond the HPC market, to move science forward in entirely new ways," said Pat McCormick, senior scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. "We are working with NVIDIA to explore how we can unite GPU acceleration with novel technologies like ARM to drive new levels of scientific discovery and innovation."

http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/News/NVIDIA-GPUs-Open-the-Door-to-ARM64-Entry-Into-High-Performance-Computing-b52.aspx

Sprint Launches HD Voice Nationwide, Adds 28 LTE Markets

Sprint announced nationwide availability of HD Voice, as well as 28 new 4G LTE markets and three new Sprint Spark markets.

Sprint HD Voice is currently supported on 28 postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid phones. The company estimates approximately 16 million of its customers are currently using an HD Voice enabled device. In addition to a fuller, more natural-sounding voice, the service uses noise-cancelling technology to minimize background noise from places like busy roads or crowded restaurants.


Sprint's new activated LTE markets, including Seattle, Cleveland, and San Jose, bring its nationwide 4G LTE footprint to 471 cities covering more than 225 million people. Sprint expects to reach 250 million with 4G LTE coverage by mid-year.

Sprint Spark has been activated in three new markets (St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.). The enhanced LTE network is designed to deliver average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Sprint plans to reach 100 million people by year-end with the service. T

Sprint is currently field testing 8T8R radios for improved coverage and signal strength at 2.5 GHz. Commercial deployment of these radios is expected this summer.

Sprint will be adding International WiFi calling in the coming weeks.  This will enable customers to make calls and send texts via WiFi in more than 100 countries.

In addition, Sprint will begin offering a 30-day trial period for new customers to test out their service. If customers aren’t completely satisfied with the Sprint experience within the first 30 days, Sprint will refund the cost of their device and waive all service and activation charges.

“We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America’s newest network,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Chief Executive Officer, “so we’re guaranteeing it.”

http://www.sprint.com


Mavenir's Evolved Packet Data Gateway Bridges Calls from LTE to Wi-Fi

Mavenir Systems announced the availability of its Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG). For subscribers using Wi-Fi, the ePDG provides a secure connection to the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network and enables seamless mobility between LTE and Wi-Fi. This enables seamless coverage whether the subscriber is in an LTE coverage areas or using Wi-Fi at public hotspots, at the office or in the home. As subscribers arrive in the office, for example, the ePDG ensures that data sessions remain active and voice calls stay up while the device switches from LTE to Wi-Fi access.

The ePDG is an integral part of Mavenir’s IMS converged voice solution that is used by mobile operators for both Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) and Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Mavenir said its approach enables operators to leverage their investments in VoLTE, and extend service reach as well as improve indoor coverage by launching VoWi-Fi. Apple’s recent announcement that iOS 8 will support Wi-Fi Calling,  significantly increases the number of devices compatible with mobile operators’ VoWi-Fi service and  accelerating adoption.

“Globally, operators are trying to manage mobile subscribers’ demand for ubiquitous service access while dealing with tremendous surge in mobile data usage,” said Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir’s President and CEO. “We believe ePDG and converged access to IMS are logical extensions of VoWi-Fi, as mobility is becoming a key differentiator for operators.”

http://www.mavenir.com

Microsoft Offers 1TB Cloud Storage to Office 365 Consumers

Microsoft will extend its offer of 1 TB of OneDrive storage to all versions of Office 365, including the 5-person home version that costs $9.99 per month and the personal version costing $6.99 per month.

Microsoft said the landscape for online services is quickly changing and that merely providing cloud storage is table stakes.  By providing 1 TB with Office 365, Microsoft effectively supercedes the storage-only providers.  For those who only want online storage and not Office 365, OneDrive pricing has been cut 70% to $1.99 for 100GB and $3.99 for 200GB.

https://blog.onedrive.com/new-onedrive-storage-plans/


  • In April 2014, Microsoft first announced the 1TB cloud storage deal for Office 365 ProPlus subscribers.
  • In its latest quarterly report released in April, Microsoft stated that Office 365 revenue grew over 100% year-over-year, and commercial seats nearly doubled, demonstrating strong enterprise momentum for Microsoft’s cloud productivity solutions.

TeliaSonera IC Upgrades Pan-European Network with Ciena

TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) has selected Ciena's 5400 Reconfigurable Switching System for the pan-European segment of its global fibre network.

Ciena’s 5400 Reconfigurable Switching System is fully modular and leverages the company's WaveLogic  coherent optics, which allows TSIC to quickly deploy this network as foreign wavelengths over its existing line system.

The companies said the deployment creates a scalable and flexible OTN-based network that promotes TSIC's vision to support service providers with bandwidth- and network-on-demand transport services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We´re continuously upgrading our extensive network, enabling mission critical solutions for operators and content providers. Developing an even more scalable and flexible network is not only about meeting the bandwidth demands of today but also ensures the bandwidth demands of tomorrow," stated Mattias Fridström, Vice President, Head of Technology at TeliaSonera International Carrier.

http://www.ciena.com
http://www.teliasoneraic.com/


  • TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) is using Infinera's DTN-X platform with Instant Bandwidth capability for its North American network

Top 500 Supercomputer List for June 2014

A new list of the Top 500 Supercomputer Sites has just been published and for the third consecutive year the most powerful designation goes to the Tianhe-2 supercomputer at China's University of Defense Technology with a performance of 33.86 petaflops delivered by its 3.1 million Intel Xeon cores.

A few highlights from the list:


  • Total combined performance of all 500 systems has grown to 274 Pflop/s, compared to 250 Pflop/s six months ago and 223 Pflop/s one year ago. This increase in installed performance also exhibits a noticeable slowdown in growth compared to the previous long-term trend.
  • There are 37 systems with performance greater than a Pflop/s on the list, up from 31 six months ago.
  • The No. 1 system, Tianhe-2, and the No. 7 system, Stampede, use Intel Xeon Phi processors to speed up their computational rate. The No. 2 system, Titan, and the No. 6 system, Piz Daint, use NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate computation.
  • A total of 62 systems on the list are using accelerator/co-processor technology, up from 53 from November 2013. Forty-four of these use NVIDIA chips, two use ATI Radeon, and there are now 17 systems with Intel MIC technology (Xeon Phi). The average number of accelerator cores for these 62 systems is 78,127 cores/system.


The full listed is posted here:

http://www.top500.org/lists/2014/06/

Overture Launches Harmony NFV Partner Ecosystem

Overture has launched its "Harmony" ecosystem of hardware, software and services partners focused on accelerating service provider’s automation and network functions virtualization (NFV) initiatives at the metro service edge.

The initial partners in the Harmony ecosystem are:

  • 6WIND  
  • Aeroflex 
  • Brocade 
  • Dell 
  • EnterpriseWeb 
  • Intel 
  • JDSU 
  • Metaswitch Networks
  • Qosmos 
  • Wind River 

http://www.overturenetworks.com/harmony

See also