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A different approach to data

Jill Matzke, senior manager of advanced platforms at SGI, says changing needs of scientists mean new methods of accessing data and memory are needed

The next generation

Dr Oz Parchment, IT infrastructure services manager, University of Southampton, describes his role and discusses the university's latest supercomputer, Iridis 3

Looking for the silver lining

If you believe the hype, then 'The Cloud' will be the next big thing across all strata of computing. Stephen Mounsey asks what it can bring to the HPC party

Multiple cores multiply programming

The transition from applications written for sequential execution to those that can take advantage of multicore architectures has taken on enormous importance and brought with it some challenging problems. Paul Schreier examines some of the tools that are available to help programmers parallelise their code

Super seismic

GPUs are established in both the visualisation and the processing of seismic data. Stephen Mounsey looks at how the technology is used, and at alternative hardware types available to geophysical analysts in the oil and gas industry

Only connect

Felix Grant looks at the application of data analysis software to social networks

Informatics is just the tonic

Greg Blackman looks at some of the trends taking place in the pharmaceutical industry and how data management software is being used

Turbulent times

According to the legendary physicist Richard Feynman, turbulence is the last great unsolved problem of classical physics. Even so, computers allow us to study it in great detail, but you must apply such tools with great care. Paul Schreier tries to bring some order to the world of software
intended for these studies of chaos

The ins and outs of HPC

Lee Ward, principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, tackles HPC-related IO improvements to multiple supercomputing projects

Unbounded clusters

Especially with the advent of cloud computing, virtualisation and the increasing popularity of GPUs, what a physical computing system looks like is very fluid. Paul Schreier looks into how vendors of cluster management software address the provisioning and workload management needs
resulting from this major trend

Material values

Felix Grant on the application of statistical packages to materials science

Finding the 'science' in GIS

While popular services such as Google Earth and Bing Maps have made basic geographical information system functionality well-known, scientific investigations need considerably more power. Paul Schreier maps the highlights of the GIS product landscape

A booming banking sector

Biobanks have their own unique requirements in terms of data management and, with increasing amounts of molecular data being generated around biobank samples, sophisticated informatics solutions are essential, as Greg Blackman finds out

Living in a parallel world

Cleve Moler, co-founder of The MathWorks, believes the benefits of parallel computing should be open to all scientists and engineers, regardless of their expertise as computer programmers

Towards exascale

Arthur 'Buddy' Bland, project director for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, describes the rise from terascale to petascale computing and the road to exascale

The GPU jump

General-purpose graphical processing units (GPGPUs) have been making inroads into HPC applications, but with the release of chips optimised for scientific computations rather than just graphics processing, this branch is poised to make major market inroads. Paul Schreier examines what's behind this upcoming jump in performance, and its implications

Let's talk about the weather

Stephen Mounsey discovers how high performance computing contributes to atmospheric science and improves the accuracy of weather forecasts

Food for a future

Science and scientific computing can buy us time to cope with the demographic timebomb of population growth, says Felix Grant

All part of the service

Contract laboratories must constantly adapt to meet the requirements of their clients and employ flexible data management solutions to do so, as Greg Blackman finds out

Software signals the way

With wireless capabilities being built into an enormous variety of products and gadgets, the challenges facing antenna designers are greater than ever. Paul Schreier examines how modelling software has improved to aid them along every step of the development and implementation trail

HPC as a service

Xi Zili is director of Shanghai Supercomputer Center, providing services for both science and industry

Driving change

Stephen Mounsey examines some of the applications of HPC within the automotive industry

Facing the heat

In the design of their servers, computer manufacturers are combating the need for power at every level: from processors, to power supplies, to cooling methods and everything in between. Paul Schreier checked with some major suppliers to investigate what they've been up to

Closing the CAD/CAE gap

Vendors of analysis/CAE software are creating tight interfaces to CAD software; CAD firms are buying up CAE technology. Paul Schreier examines these trends and looks at what they mean to users and where they could take us

Down by the sea

Felix Grant fishes for data analysis applications among the mysteries of the deep

Fuelling the future

Greg Blackman looks at how data management software is used in the petrochemical industry

HPC colonises the desktop

Computers are continuing along their astounding path down the price/performance curve to the point where you can literally put the power of what we not long ago considered a supercomputer on or beside your desk in an office environment. Paul Schreier reviews some of these powerful systems

Aerospace modelling is taking off

Aircraft are enormously sophisticated systems - and expensive, as well, so effective prototyping becomes a matter of survival. Paul Schreier investigates how CFD and other engineering software tools have become indispensable in optimising aircraft and for developing completely new concepts

Molecular alchemy

Saving untold hours in the laboratory, molecular modelling software allows researchers to determine how to make useful changes to existing substances or make new ones. Paul Schreier takes a glimpse of the tools and techniques researchers are using to find the molecules that will bring us improved drugs and materials

Making the connection

HPC system architects are increasingly turning to alternative interconnects such as InfiniBand to replace Ethernet in many situations. Paul Schreier examines what is driving this trend

A taste for LIMS

Greg Blackman looks at the role LIMS, as well as data management software as a whole, plays in putting food on our plates

Asking the big questions

Stephen Mounsey finds out about the computing power behind some of the world's most ambitious scientific projects

The future for HPC

Hans Meuer, general chair of ISC'09, on emerging trends in high-performance computing

Computer - reconfigure yourself!

Although they're not simple to program, field-programmable gate arrays can greatly accelerate frequently used functions, and you can reprogram them on the fly to tackle new tasks. Paul Schreier examines the impact they are starting to have on HPC

Far more than petaflops

Thomas Lippert, director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre at Forschungszentrum Jülich explains how supercomputers of highest scalability and scientific users can be brought closer together by means of a new support instrument: the simulation laboratory

Criminal patterns

Felix Grant finds statistical processes applied to the social sciences, and in particular, to crime

Data pharming

Greg Blackman looks at some of the current trends taking place in the pharmaceutical industry with regards to data management

Modelling rides into the future

As auto manufacturers shift towards entirely new types of vehicles, they face a number of engineering challenges. Paul Schreier looks at how design/simulation software is helping them reach their goals more quickly and efficiently

Drilling for fuel

HPC technology is aiding oil and gas companies locate hidden submarine reserves in a fraction of the time taken by previous methods, as Stephen Mounsey discovers

Saving for the future

Greg Blackman looks at some of the data-management challenges facing biobanks and how these repositories of material are being used to advance life-sciences research

The value of pre-validated LIMS

Aaron M Jones, product manager for LIMS at Applied Biosystems, says the reality of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) LIMS systems depends on the level of pre-validation offered by the vendor

Dedicated to science

Dr Peter Beckman directs the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in providing the computational science community with world-leading computing capability dedicated to breakthrough science and engineering

Crisis management?

With the world of finance in meltdown, relying on HPC solutions to predict the future is vital, as Stephen Mounsey discovers

Beauty is skin deep

Felix Grant assesses the value of data analysis software in the development and use of surface coatings

Athletes go to the max

A variety of software is being used in the science of sports biomechanics to improve athletes' performance in safe ways. Paul Schreier looks at some interesting applications and the resulting improvements

Clusters have open-source roots

When setting up and configuring an HPC cluster, there is a wide variety of choices when it comes to tools: proprietary software from hardware or software vendors, many open source tools, and open source tools with commercial support. Paul Schreier provides a quick overview of the major players and their offerings