About, The Next Platform, here.
The Next Platform formally launched February 23, 2015, in partnership with The Register. It will offer in-depth coverage of high-end computing at large enterprises, supercomputing centers, hyperscale data centers, and public clouds.
Joel Hruska, Extreme Tech, AMD’s Boltzmann Initiative targets the high performance computing market, here.
For nearly a decade, the HPC (high-performance computing) market has been divided into two camps: CUDA and OpenCL. CUDA, of course, is Nvidia’s proprietary standard. It was first out of the gate in 2007 and its competitor, OpenCL, wouldn’t reach 1.0 status until just over two years later, in 2009. Unlike CUDA, OpenCL is supported by a number of companies, including Intel, Imagination Technologies, AMD, Qualcomm, and ARM.
Despite the above potential advantage, Nvidia has held the lion’s share of the HPC and supercomputing markets. According to the recent Top500 list, AMD’s GCN is used in three systems, compared with 66 systems for Nvidia’s Fermi + Kepler architectures and 28 systems that use Xeon Phi. There are also four hybrid systems that use both NV and Xeon Phi.
AMD’s Boltzmann Initiative is meant to change the status quo by offering developers and researchers a much-needed software stack that should boost the company’s competitiveness in the HPC market. AMD’s competitive weakness in HPC and scientific computing has never been about hardware — GCN’s raw compute performance, at least in certain types of problems, was far better than Nvidia’s Fermi or Kepler cards. (Maxwell has not been positioned as an HPC solution.) Nvidia, however, poured huge amounts of money into developing its CUDA ecosystem, including a great deal of support for HPC developers and scientific research.
Michael Specter, The New Yorker, The Gene Hackers, here.
CRISPR has two components. The first is essentially a cellular scalpel that cuts DNA. The other consists of RNA, the molecule most often used to transmit biological information throughout the genome. It serves as a guide, leading the scalpel on a search past thousands of genes until it finds and fixes itself to the precise string of nucleotides it needs to cut. It has been clear at least since Louis Pasteur did some of his earliest experiments into the germ theory of disease, in the nineteenth century, that the immune systems of humans and other vertebrates are capable of adapting to new threats. But few scientists had considered the possibility that single bacterial cells could defend themselves in the same way. The day after Zhang heard about CRISPR, he flew to Florida for a genetics conference. Rather than attend the meetings, however, he stayed in his hotel room and kept Googling. “I just sat there reading every paper on CRISPR I could find,” he said. “The more I read, the harder it was to contain my excitement.”
Intel, i7 6700K, here. base clock 4Ghz. avx 2.0, 4 cores.