Session: SuperNetworking Transforming Supercomputing
  Title: SuperNetworking Transforming Supercomputing
  Chair: Steven J. Wallach (Chiaro Networks)
  Time: Wednesday, November 19, 3:30PM - 5:00PM
  Rm #: 40-41
  Speaker(s)/Author(s):  
  Chair: Steven J. Wallach (Chiaro Networks); Panelists: Daniel J. Blumenthal (University of California, Santa Barbara), Andrew A. Chien (University of California, San Diego), Jason Leigh (University of Illinois at Chicago), Larry Smarr (University of California, San Diego), Rick L. Stevens (Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago)
   
  Description:
  For the last decade, Moore's Law has dominated supercomputing architecture, since it was on a steeper exponential than either bandwidth or storage. Furthermore, during the 1990s, the commoditization of processors allowed for super-exponential growth in computing power through the parallelization of processors -- that is, we were able to multiply Moore's Law for the growth of individual processor speeds by the 500-fold increase in the number of processors in a single parallel computer (from 4 processors in the early 90s to 2000 processors today).

A fundamental architectural shift has occurred in this decade, in that storage and particularly networking bandwidth are growing much faster than Moore's Law. The super-exponential in bandwidth is caused by parallelization in the number of Lambdas, independent light paths down a single fiber optic, multiplied by the increase of the bandwidth of the individual light paths (DWDM). The TeraGrid was the first example of a national-scale supercomputer with dedicated optical paths -- 4x10Gbps. The Panel reviews the basic engineering trends in processors, storage and optics, and then examines a number of federally funded projects which are exploring the vision laid out by Steve Wallach at Supercomputing 2000 in which a petaflop computer by 2010 will be an optical switch with compute and storage peripherals. In addition, the Panel examines how dedicated multi-Lambda optical circuits could radically change the architecture of distributed cyberinfrastructure and the ability for application end-users to use that infrastructure to carry out 21st-century scientific research.
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