While SC14 is perhaps one of the best computer hardware shows on the planet, it isn’t just all about hardware. Software, especially GPU accelerated software, increasingly plays an important role in scientific discovery. One of the most broadly used HPC software packages has long been MathLab, and it is great to see them highlighting GPU acceleration on at least two sides of their booth.
GPU powered systems large and small were highlighted throughout the show floor, and with Google’s Nexus 9 tablet now shipping with a full 192 Kepler core powered Tegra TK1 SOC, it was only a matter of time before folks started building mini-clusters out of NVIDIA’s Jetson TK1 developer kit. French phone company Orange commissioned this system, built out of several dozen Jetson TK1 dev kits, for a data analytics project. If you wonder what all the excitement is about, you can order your own 192 core Jetson TK1 dev kit for only $199
One booth I missed earlier was SGI. Keeping the legendary SGI name and HPC legacy alive when cloud hardware vendor Rackable acquired the name and various assets in 2009, it is no surprise that SGI prominently displayed their 8-way high density (2RU) NVIDIA Tesla GPU platform in their booth. As GPUs become increasingly popular for machine learning and other big data analytics, SGI has a great opportunity to sell their 8-way box to both HPC and big data customers. And they are giving away a great looking tee-shirt too!
If 8 GPUs in 2RU isn’t enough for you, OneStop systems sells a chassis with 16 NVIDIA GPUs in 3RU. The OneStop chassis doesn’t include the server, and is intended for customers who want to cable up more GPUs to a server than it can physically hold. Several OEMs on the show floor also showed off OneStop chassis connected to their servers in other booths on the show floor.
As customers increasingly look to optimize the energy efficiency of their computing solution, various liquid cooling solutions continue to proliferate at SC14. And while they don’t build servers, the 3M booth had an interesting display of their fluid immersion technology, just one of the many liquid cooling solutions displayed out on the show floor.