EDA Focus: HPC enters the petascale age

The Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) is dedicated to applying its unique expertise in numerical software engineering to delivering high quality computational software and high performance computing (HPC) services. For four decades NAG experts have worked closely with world-leading researchers in academia and industry to create powerful, accurate and flexible software which today is relied upon by tens of thousands of users, companies, learning institutions as well as numerous independent software vendors.

NAG was founded in 1970 as a collaborative venture combining the talents of many globally renowned mathematicians. In 1971 NAG developed the first mathematical software library, which, over the next four decades, has evolved to become what it is today, the largest commercially available collection of high quality mathematical and statistical algorithms.

NAG's products, parallel software development services, independent consulting and HPC training support modeling and computing needs from multi-core workstations to the latest supercomputers. NAG contacted me with regard to recent HPC technology developments and how they might impact research in the coming year some of which may be of interest to our readers. A lot of the applications using the NAG libraries is applied to supercomputing problems such as global climate and oceanic research.

The Open Petascale Libraries (OPL) project, initiated by Fujitsu and announced at Supercomputing 2010, has appointed the Numerical Algorithms Group as the OPL Project Librarian. High Performance Computing has recently entered the petascale era, where the world’s fastest machines are capable of achieving performance in excess of one petaflop, i.e. one quadrillion (ten to the power of 15) floating point operations every second. Because of this speed, the impact of HPC is growing dramatically as more and more scientific and engineering problems are tackled through computer simulation.

NAG will be the custodian of the library source code and will be producing periodic binary releases, as well as providing some of the algorithmic content. NAG will also work with the other project members to formulate and maintain documentation and coding standards for the libraries and will ensure that code accepted for inclusion follows these standards.

The OPL project has been initiated by Fujitsu with the aim of developing mathematical libraries that will play an important role for scientific applications running on the next generation petascale supercomputers. The project will adopt a hybrid parallel programming model, which is necessary to take advantage of today’s multi-core supercomputers. By using the numerical components generated through this project, it will be possible for application developers to more easily harness the potential of petascale supercomputers.

For more go to http://www.nag.com/hpc/learn_more.asp

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