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Tech companies put in the hot seat

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The 2008 International Supercomputing Conference will see leaders from 18 of the world’s top technology companies participate in one of the conference’s most popular offerings - the Hot Seat Session.

The Hot Seat Session is an afternoon of to-the-point presentations by industry leaders in computing, networking, data and storage. Each speaker has 10 minutes to present their organisation’s newest strategy, product or research developments. A panel of expert ‘inquisitors’ then asks each speaker two in-depth, follow-up questions. The speakers have only five minutes to offer their responses - on the spot in front of more than 1,000 conference attendees.

'Vendors send their best people - sometimes even their CEOs - to represent them at the Hot Seat Session, because they know they will be asked difficult, probing questions by some very well-versed inquisitors and that they will have only five minutes to give their response,’ said ISC conference chair Professor Hans Werner Meuer of the University of Mannheim. ‘The speakers need to be able to think on their feet and give very clear, succinct responses. It is a lively, thought provoking afternoon, which our conference attendees look forward to.’

The ISC ’08 Hot Seat Session will be held in two parts on 19 June; the first from 2–4:15pm and the second from 4:45–7pm. Additionally, this year’s Hot Seat Session will feature a talk by Andreas von Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and current chief architect and senior vice president of Sun’s Systems Group. His talk, Architecting the Future: Petascale Systems and Beyond, will look at the challenges involved in developing architectures for petascale computing systems, including processors, interconnect topologies and physical plant requirements such as power, cooling and packaging.