Exascale at SC15

Well, it’s that time again, getting ready for Supercomputing 2015, a premier conference on HPC. The focus, for a while now, has been on achieving exascale performance by 2022. This won’t be easy; there are numerous challenges, such as energy efficiency, programmability, productivity, and reliability—just to name a few. All of these will be discussed at the conference by prominent researchers in the field. I am honored to participate in three panels and birds-of-feather sessions, to further discuss these challenges and potential opportunities.

The first panel is on Tuesday, Nov 17th, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, discussing new approaches to computing. This panel will discuss what new computing paradigms look like in a challenging environment, with two proposed paradigms being quantum and neuromorphic computing. Does anyone know how and why neuromorphic computing works? Today’s theory of computing is age old, from Boolean logic (centuries), to Turing machine (decades), and it took that long to put into practice. Same thing with quantum computing; is it really computing?

The second panel will discuss the future of memory technology and will meet Tuesday, November 17th, from 3:30 to 5pm. We know to achieve exascale it will require innovation in memory to deal with extremely large data sets.  Many different technologies have been proposed to replace DRAM, with different tradeoffs of performance, energy use, cost and endurance. We’ll never have a perfect solution for everyone and need to find the right mix of DRAM and new memory technology solutions to drive to exascale and beyond.

The birds-of-feather session scheduled on Wednesday, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, will once again discuss computing approaches for the future. This session will have a slightly different twist, to include future devices such as tunnel FETs, and such. But essentially the same theme as the panel on Tuesday, and will discuss the same very important issues! People are so eager to find a solution that they forget the time it takes.

I am looking forward to the conference, and the intellectually stimulating discussions and debates which we all enjoy.

To learn more about the upcoming conference visit: http://www.sc15.supercomputing.org/