bizEDGE NZ - Wellington supercomputing conference aims to ignite innovation


Wellington supercomputing conference aims to ignite innovation

This month will see some of the most recognised authorities in computing converging in Wellington for the 5th Multicore World event organised by Open Parallel.

The conference, held February 15-17, will focus on the formula-one, or high-performance, aspects of computer systems with the aim of advancing all aspects of multicore and many-core technology in New Zealand.

Supercomputers should be available to a wider group

Thanks to lowering costs and the energy efficiency required for mobile phones and cloud computing, high-performance computing (HPC) is becoming accessible to general business, science and government.

However, writing software that takes advantage of supercomputers requires very specialised knowledge, and this is a key obstacle for making this technology more accessible to a wider community of software developers and scientists to aid advancement, says Open Parallel.

According to the organisers, the Multicore World 2016 conference aims to ignite a discussion around ideas to reduce this barrier.

New Zealand is an epicentre for HPC efforts and entrepreneurs

New Zealand universities and companies are contributing to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Supercomputer designs.

Open Parallel, the organiser of the event, says it wants to foster the wider adoption of HPC and contribute to the designs of the software platform for the SKA project, with the ultimate goal to help build and commercialise software required for supercomputers.

The SKA project presents a once in a generation opportunity for New Zealand

The SKA project already involves a dozen countries and the benefits of it are far beyond the science applications

According to the organisers, building a stronger community around HPC will spill-over into economic benefit for the country.

For instance, Fonterra could improve production costs by using new software techniques to optimise milk production patterns, suggests Open Parallel.

Dr Andrew Ensor, director of AUT’s High Performance Computing Research Laboratory, says, “We’re pushing the envelope of what is possible with computing and that will have economic benefit.”

Scott Houston GreenButton founder and chief executive, says the future of IT “lies in understanding, developing and supporting scalable technology that harnesses the latest multicore technologies.”

Houston has attended and supported many of the prior Multicore World conferences and says he has been impressed with the event.

He says it is unique to have “the industry’s most influential leaders arriving right at our doorstep.”

Organised every year by Open Parallel since 2012, Multicore World focuses on the global HPC ecosystem. Sessions cover latest developments in software and hardware, applications and the businesses behind high-performance computing.

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