IBM to build two supercomputers for the U.S. Department of Energy

IBM said today that it will develop two new supercomputers for the U.S. Department of Energy that are based on IBM’s new Power servers and will contain NVIDIA GPU accelerators and Mellanox networking technology. The new supercomputers, to be named Summit and Sierra, will be ready to roll in 2017; IBM will end up scoring a cool $325 million in government contracts.

Simulating 1 second of real brain activity takes 40 minutes and 83K processors

Researchers have simulated 1 second of real brain activity, on a network equivalent to 1 percent of an actual brain’s neural network, using the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer. The results aren’t revolutionary just yet, but they do hint at what will be possible as computing power increases.

While we waste four cores, scientists use a million at a time

A group of Stanford researchers recently ran a complex fluid dynamics workload across more than a million cores on the Sequoia supercomputer. It’s an impressive feat and might foretell a future where parallel programming becomes commonplace even on our smartphones.

Why your next game console ought to be Watson

Early attempts at cloud-based video gaming were a flop. Roy Bahat, of OUYA, says it’s still a worthy pursuit, but should be based on a new generation of games built specifically to take advantage of the cloud’s supercomputing strengths.

Here’s what Wikipedia looks like over time and place

When you mix a researcher, a massive online encyclopedia and a supercomputer, the result is a collection of insights and visualizations into what Wikipedia looks like mapped across time and space. It looks a lot like how our history books might look merged and graphed.

Another big obstacle to exascale computing: resilience

Los Alamos National Laboratory is trying to build to an exascale computer, which could process one billion billion calculations per second. The man in charge of executing that vision, however, sees a big obstacle toward building it. That problem, discussed at Structure:Data, is resilience.

Supercomputer vet Cray wants to turn big data into fast data

Looks like Oracle has some competition when it comes to selling big iron for big data. On Wednesday, Cray, the Seattle-based company best known for building some of the world’s fastest supercomputers, announced it’s getting into the big data game.