Making computers that think like us

In 1944, several of America’s most advanced  bomber planes, the B-29 Superfortress, landed in the Soviet Union. Years ahead of anything that the Soviets had in the way of strategic bombers at the time  (the B-29 was the plane used to drop the atomic bombs on Japan) Stalin hastily ordered that the design of the […]

Probability processing: moving beyond the 0s and 1s

For the past few years, processing technology has been steadily trying to break out of the typical x86 CPU mold that has been the standard since the 1970s. Since GPUs (graphics processing units) have emerged, traditional processing methods have been augmented with the vector computing approach of those units working in conjunction with CPUs. Now, […]

Supercomputers “give birth” to the first synthetic cell

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports (accessed via HPCwire) that scientists, with the help of supercomputers, have made the first ever synthetic cell. J. Craig Venter led a team that extracted DNA from existing bacteria and redesigned the entire genetic code on a computer. Then, the scientists spliced together pieces of real DNA to create in […]

Microsoft to integrate technical applications, HPC and the cloud

HPCwire reports that Microsoft has gathered a new team called the Technical Computing Group with the ambition of “modeling the world”, that is, creating a software/hardware package that makes it easier than ever for scientists, researchers, doctors, designers, analysts, and engineers to run their mathematical models. Microsoft already has a set of software tools that […]

HPC and lithium-air electric cars

HPCwire featured an article last week about how supercomputers are helping to produce an economical battery for the next generation of electric cars. According to the article, a new type of rechargeable battery is being developed that will rival the current standard of lithium-ion. These batteries, called lithium-air batteries, have a much greater energy density […]

GPUs in the news – medicine

NVIDIA, a maker of GPUs, reports that it has launched AMBER 11, a new version of a program that is frequently used by scientists to aid in the discovery of new medicine. This version of the program is optimized for GPUs, allowing scientists to use private workstation computers instead of public supercomputers to run the […]

GPUs in the news – computer gaming and the human brain

Just over the weekend, I have discovered (through my RSS feeds) fascinating new uses for GPU computing. I thought I would describe one of them in short detail here for your interest (others to come later this week). GPUs have their origin in computer gaming, where graphics cards were equipped with their own micro-processors to […]

HPC and cell biology research

Biologists at the Ohio State University have been using supercomputers to answer one of the most fundamental questions in biology – how cells know what to become as they grow – according to an article from the Ohio Supercomputer Center. The researchers were studying the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a species that is very often used […]

Can parallel processing resurrect Moore’s Law?

Forbes.com has published an interesting article about the end of Moore’s Law in the computer processing world. In 1975, Intel’s Gordon Moore wrote that computing power would double every year (later revised to every 1.5 years). This prediction held true for decades. Until now. Bill Daily writes that in the last decade, Moore’s Law has […]

Healthcare industry slow to adopt “green IT”

Greenbiz.com reports that a new survey published by BridgeHead Software suggests that the healthcare industry is relatively slow in adopting green IT practices. According to the global survey, only about 25% of respondents said that their organizations have targets for reducing their carbon footprint. It is understandable that the healthcare industry gets less heat for […]