Insights from 26th Annual HPCC Conference

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Insights from 26th Annual HPCC Conference

The 26th annual HPCC Conference had the theme “Supercomputing: A Global Perspective,” and was held in Newport, RI at the end of March. The conference pulled together a variety of industry experts, including High Performance Computing (HPC) users, vendors, and other industry experts. This blog includes some of my observations from the event.

There were three main themes throughout the event;

  1. The Missing Middle;
  2. Manufacturing; and
  3. Exascale.

John West, the Director for Department of Defense’s (DOD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program, kicked off the event discussing “The Missing Middle.” He postulated on how, “given this unalloyed good that is HPC, how come everybody isn’t using it?” You can watch his entire message here. 

A New Focus on Manufacturing

New to this year’s Newport HPCC show was a focus on Manufacturing. Per the Conference Leadership team:

“Bringing HPC to manufacturing is an important initiative, in the U.S. and the rest of the world. Competitiveness is an elusive goal that requires continual refinement and adoption of new technologies. HPCC 2012 will highlight this critical area with discussions on the application of HPC to modern manufacturing to address what many refer to as the ‘missing middle’ – referring to the thousands of small and mid-size businesses not currently taking advantage of high performance computing in areas such as design, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, etc.”

Speakers in this area included:

  • Gardner Carrick, President of The Manufacturing Institute who discussed “HPC in Manufacturing and Competitiveness”
  • Dawn White of Accio Energy, presented “Wind Energy from a Revolutionary Concept”
  • Suzy Tichenor from Oak Ridge National Laboratories who discussed the ORNL Industrial Partnership Program

 Interesting Debates About Achieving Exascale

Panelists also discussed at length the quest for Exascale computing. How do we get there? What are the obstacles to achieving Exascale? What are the drivers that will get HPC in the United States to Exascale? What does Exascale computing provide the HPC market that current systems can’t achieve today?

Our very own Dr. Mark Fernandez was on a panel discussing this. In fact, this last day round table discussion included a “Lighting round” that really did a fantastic job of encapsulating the entire event’s worth of content into one 30-minute session.

HPC Analyst Crossfire – Live from the National HPCC Conference 2012

Other Interesting notables:

  • According to Addison Snell of Intersect 360, there is a $26 billion market for HPC
  • In 1976 – Cray – 80 MFLOPS – cost $8.8 Million – 2012 – Apple Ipad – 170 MFLOPS - $499

Please leave a comment, or add any additional insights from the event.

Troy Testa

  • Hello Troy;

    I was at the same conference and it seems to me that you have incorrectly reported the person from the Manufacturing Institute. Actually it was Gardner Carrick who made the presentation and  his name was also on the final program.

    I would like to also point out that there were several other speakers on the Manufacturing Theme:

    - Frank Ding from Simpson Strong-Tie, who gave an excellent overview of Modeling  & Simulation in the building Industry

    - Steven Legensky from Intelligent Light, who spoke about advanced CFD methods to design a new type of racing bicycle wheel, also the use of data to figure out what it is telling us.

    - William Feiereisen (my immediate colleague) from Intel who highlighted the issue of US manufacturing not adopting more usage of HPC in their drive to competitiveness

    -  I spoke about HPC activities in the Middle East and there was also a Russian representative - Alexey Komkov from T-Platforms -  there as well who talked at length about Russian efforts in this regard. That definitely imparted the correct Global perspective to the meeting.

    - Missing Middle and Manufacturing are actually synonymous and not two different agendas!

    --Sharan Kalwani