In tracking the high performance computing (HPC) industry over the last year, one consistent theme is the shift from flops (i.e., computing that can be done per second) to meeting the needs of the applications being developed. Nowadays, it’s more than flops , bus speed, and hard drive access speed – it’s generally that the focus should be less on hardware metrics and more on meeting the needs of the applications using the hardware.
This was brought up again at a IDC HPC User forum on Sept 6-8th 2016, which I attended. It was mentioned explicitly, then we saw time and again examples of applications that benefited from the use of multi-process machines in the oil & gas and other industries that need to do complex calculations. We were even treated to a great talk about how big data is helping recover lost data of black women’s history:
The main point was that solutions are what people care about and the need is coming from all industries.
Along comes ARM
This is also why ARM has put their hat into the ring for HPC support with their ARM v8 series of processors. They see the growth across many industry segments of multi-process needs. It is why we just announced beta support for ARM processors in TotalView along with some other functionality.
We also have a booth at the 2016 SuperComputing conference in Salt Lake City in November. If you are going, please be in touch so we can setup a meeting.