Imperial College London currently spends over £1,000 000 on its HPC programme. "HPC allows us to simulate events that would be impossible or very difficult to measure experimentally," stated Simon Burbidge, High Performance Computing Co-ordination Manager at Imperial College London. "For example, it is very difficult to reach the kind of temperatures such as those within the sun or plasmas in the real world, but by using HPC we can perform simulations to predict the results and thus tune the experiments. Another area of research at Imperial College London is using HPC to model blood flows in human arteries, to drive insights into the conditions leading to heart and circulatory disease. It is also helping us to do better research at lower cost, for example where simulations can replace some of the wind tunnel tests used in automobile design."
Peter McCallum, Head of IT & Scientific Computing at Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute described the benefits that HPC has brought to his organisation, "Through HPC we can effectively sequence a human’s whole DNA. Medical units in hospitals may soon need HPC access to enable them to track disease. We believe that in the future there will be local access to HPC with a local scientific computing team in all biological science organisations. What happened in physics and chemistry twenty years ago is now happening in biology."
Sean McGuire, Director Strategic Government Programs HPC EMEA at Intel stated, "HPC is an added direction for Intel. Through the Intel® Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture we can achieve more compute power than would have been possible previously. It is an architecture that is designed for highly parallel workloads. We believe that it is an indication of where computing is going."
Robert Maskell, Head of HPC for Intel in the UK added, "Analysts have been telling us for a while that HPC is now mainstream, I think it is even further along the curve than that. It is pervasive. It is difficult to think of any manmade object which has not been created without being touched by HPC during the design process. HPC has become one of the fundamental building blocks for science. Researchers are being deluged by floods of data. The question they are asking is how can they cost effectively process and securely store that data. We believe Intel's Xeon range of processors deliver the energy-efficient performance that will allow researchers to draw ever quicker results and conclusions from their science."
Intel Corporation announced plans earlier this year to deliver new products based on the Intel® Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture that will create platforms running at trillions of calculations per second, while also retaining the benefits of standard Intel processors. Targeting high-performance computing segments such as exploration, scientific research and financial or climate simulation, the first product, codenamed "Knights Corner", will be made on Intel's 22-nanometer manufacturing (nm) process - using transistor structures as small as 22 billionths of a meter - and will use Moore's Law to scale to more than 50 Intel processing cores on a single chip. While the vast majority of workloads will still run best on award-winning Intel® Xeon® processors, Intel® MIC architecture will help accelerate select highly parallel applications.
Industry design and development kits codenamed "Knights Ferry" are currently shipping to select developers, and beginning in the second half of 2010, Intel will expand the program to deliver an extensive range of developer tools for Intel MIC architecture.
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