Radio Free HPC Podcast

News and commentary on high performance computing



Is it Time for Virtual GPUs?

July 04, 2020

VMware's Bitfusion and Dell We start with team introductions, as usual, but drop a bombshell on listeners:  we’re going to be missing Jessi for the next couple of months as she goes off to Marine Officers Candidate School – or as she calls it “scream


NSF, QIS Funding, But First...

June 30, 2020

18th Listener Awards! Run-of-the-mill start as we introduce the team. Henry has quite a bit of echo since he’s now firmly ensconced in his rammed earth survival compound. Big news this week! We finally received our 18th email in our first ever RadioFreeHP


New Top on the TOP500 – 415 PF!

June 22, 2020

Breaking News Edition We have a new #1 on the TOP500 list of most powerful supercomputers! Big gets bigger by a factor of 2.8x as Fujitsu’s “Supercomputer Fugaku” tops the list at 415 PFlops.  There are also an additional three new entries in the top


@HPC_Guru Speaketh! Kind of.

June 19, 2020

Our Guest Today is... In this extraordinary episode of Radio Free HPC, the crew interviews the industry icon that is @HPC_Guru. This is the first time that anyone has been granted an interview with him and we’re proud to have been chosen for this honor. W


HPC on the Edge

June 13, 2020

Edge Computing Book Makes Sense of It All After our typical inane opening, which includes an update on Henry’s Las Cruces bunker with  21” rammed earth walls, we get quickly down to business and begin our interview with very special guest, Dr. Cody B


A is for Ampere, Nvidia A100's Public Debut

June 01, 2020

NOTE:  The publication of this episode was delayed due to the untimely passing of our partner and pal Rich Brueckner. So what we’re announcing as "breaking news" isn’t so fresh today, but our takes on what NVIDIA’s new A100 processor brings to the ta


Tribute to Rich Brueckner, 1962-2020

May 27, 2020

by Dan Olds This is a tough blog to write for this RadioFreeHPC episode. This is the episode where we say a final goodbye to our co-founder and comrade in arms Rich Brueckner. Rich passed away suddenly last week leaving us shocked and shaken. The whole ge


Debate This: Server Sales Up 30% in Q1, Says Analyst Firm

May 19, 2020

We start off with an update from our crew. Jessie is at Purdue putting her belongings into storage in order to clear out her current abode. Shahin is doing fine, all quarantined up down in Silicon Valley. Henry has big news:  he’s completed his north


ColdQuanta Serves Up Some Bose-Einstein Condensate

May 08, 2020

The show starts with Dan, Jessi and Shahin in attendance. Henry is traveling from his old home base in Minnesota to his new command bunker in lovely Las Cruces, NM. Last we heard he was in Kansas City and making good time. We’re not sure how long we’re go


What Good Did It Do? Quite a Lot, and Quite the Story

May 02, 2020

A typical show opening, but we’re missing Henry – he was away packing for his big move from his long-time home base in Minnesota to his new bunker in Las Cruces. He’s packing up all of his memorabilia, like his first punch card sets, his core memory colle


Honeywell Traps, Zaps Ions for Science

April 24, 2020

Dan starts this episode with, as usual, an introduction of the cast. Henry reports that he’s only three weeks away from his epic move from Minnesota to Los Cruces, New Mexico. Trapping Those Unruly IonsWe quickly move to our main topic:  Honeywell’s


SIHOGLIC: The Life & Times of Charles Babbage

April 21, 2020

RadioFreeHPC Studios PresentsSlightly Inaccurate History of Great Leaps in Computing (SIHOGLIC)Edition OneIn this groundbreaking production, RadioFreeHPC Studios reenacts dramatic moments in the life of computing genius Charles Babbage. We breath life int


AI in Science. When is it real?

April 15, 2020

We fire up the show with introductions and a little snippiness on Dan’s part. Henry reports that the weather in Minnesota is nearly human. AI in ScienceJumping into our main topic, Shahin introduces an article from HPCwire interviewing Argonne’s Associate


Supercomputers Battle Corona

April 08, 2020

The conversation today begins with discussing how long it will take until Henry moves into his rammed earth Los Cruces bunker. For those of you keeping track at home, the correct answer was 41 days at the time of taping, which, by the time the podcast is


Climbing El Capitan? Details Detailed!

March 31, 2020

 Supercomputer Leaps to New PeaksAt the top of the show we discuss whether Indiana (where Jessi is located at Purdue) is in the heartland or not. We all agree that it is and, yes, Jessi sees Larry Bird all the time. Getting into the heart of the epis


One Big Debate over OneAPI

March 17, 2020

For RF-HPC aficionados, it’s a typical opening for this episode. Henry is counting down the days until he moves to sunny Los Cruces and we have a lull in the conversation right after the introductions. We recover quickly and move onto the main course of t


Let's Learn Deeply about Extreme Weather

March 09, 2020

This week we have Dan, Jessi, and Shahin on the call. Henry is off in Los Cruces overseeing construction of what can only be called a bunker. Why? Its main feature is 21-inch rammed earth walls, guaranteed to withstand withering heat waves, cold snaps, an


Slingshotting to Exascale, It's Hot!

March 05, 2020

At the top of this episode, Henry notes that the temperature in his city will be touching -15F, which is plenty cold. However, it’s very good overclocking weather as Dan and Shahin point out. Not quite quantum weather, unfortunately. Cray Slingshot Interc



February 18, 2020

The show starts with our traditional lull, which always follows our initial introductions – when no one knows who should speak first, or prefer not to. However, we quickly regain our footing and get to the major topic of the day:  the coronavirus or


Faster Weather, Pizza, Tires

February 06, 2020

And High Powered Radio Towers, tooThe show starts out in the usual way with check ups on the health and happiness of our hosts. Jessi finished a 50-mile race over the weekend, which is admirable, particularly when you consider she was on foot. With a reas


ZFS, AI for System Design, Power in GCE

January 28, 2020

Surprise! It's Snowing in MinnesotaThe show starts on a combative note with Henry refusing to discuss how much snow is arrayed around his house. Dan shares his dream running a snowblower and Henry offers up his house but doesn’t offer airfare, which, assu


2020 Predictions, Get it?!

January 15, 2020

Shiny Crystal BallIt’s our first episode of 2020, yay! The first that was recorded in 2020 anyway.  It's a predictable 20/20 joke (more of a meh comment really) but the topic today is... PREDICTIONS. More specifically, it's our predictions of what’s


Quantum, Quantum, Quantum

January 07, 2020

 This episode was recorded back in 2019 but then the holiday episode had to go out during holidays and cut in line, messing up the cogs of the well-oiled machine that is the RFHPC production process. Regardless, the episode starts out with Henry bei


2019 Holiday Episode (video): Family Dinner at RFHPC

December 31, 2019

It's become a tradition at RadioFreeHPC to celebrate the holidays with a video of the holiday episode. The new logo launches the video: celebrating a truly family style dinner and dreaming big (maybe too creatively, however) as the team exchanges "if-only


South Africa CHPC National Conference

December 22, 2019

SA Students Get Ready to take ISC by storm Probably 15% more scintillating than usual, Dan promises as he calls this episode "fantastic"! Now a 5-day conference with two days of workshops as book-ends, multiple tracks and many speakers, and yes, a very ex


SC19: Our Visit to the State Fair

December 13, 2019

SC19 Postview Our show today is all about what we saw at the “State Fair for Nerds” that is SC19. Where there weren’t any livestock shows or supercomputers carved out of butter, there was a lot to see and hear. Shahin talks about the European Processor In


SC19 Student Cluster Competition - Recap

November 28, 2019

 SC19 Student Cluster Round UpThe show starts in the usual way, with Henry complaining about snow and us laughing at him. Our special guest, student clusterer extraordinaire Jessi Lanum, complains about recording again with Henry in a definite shot a


New TOP500 List: Spot The Difference

November 18, 2019

Live from SC19In this Breaking News edition of RadioFreeHPC, we look over the newly released TOP500 list in all its glory. We talk about the changes in this version of the list (100 new systems, but none in the top 24), how the major countries stack up ag


SC19 Student Cluster Competition - Preview

November 16, 2019

Blood Sweat Glory, But No Tears“This is a groundbreaking episode of RadioFreeHPC….groundbreaking, I tell you! We have a very special guest, our first post-millennial commentator, Jessi Lanum who is a Student Cluster Competition veteran and is on the show


Truth, Trust, and Deepfakes

November 12, 2019

You never write, you never call, you never send flowers “just because.” But that’s ok, we welcome you back to another scintillating episode of Radio Free HPC anyway. Henry is traveling on yet another business trip, lodged in the Washington, DC area, and n


Preview of Supercomputing '19 - Denver

November 06, 2019

What's All Happening at SC19 in Denver? Supercomputing '19 is coming to Denver this year and who better than Rich Brueckner to give us a sneak peak. Super excited to have Rich and his signature laugh on this show again. In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC


7 Years, 251 Episodes, 17 Listeners

November 03, 2019

RadioFreeHPC Celebrates a Number in its PrimeWelcome to a historic milestone:  Our 251st Radio Free HPC episode! We’re celebrating 251 rather than 250 for a couple of reasons. First, everyone celebrates round numbers and that’s boring. And 251 is rou


Fragile: Python, sudo, AI

October 25, 2019

How Many Episodes, Did You Say?!The show is geographically skewed today with all three hosts on the west coast. Henry is gracing Seattle with his presence, resulting in plunging coffee inventories and skyrocketing sushi prices. The first item of discussio


RISC-V CEO Sees Bright Global Future for Open Source CPUs

October 18, 2019

RISC-V, Historic Passwords Revealed, End of the WorldWe’re missing Henry S. Newman this week, who is down in Los Cruces inspecting and overseeing the construction of his new crib. Dan and Shahin discuss just how little they’d want to be the general contra


Turing Machine is Sequential, How About a Parallel Machine?

October 13, 2019

Solving Exponential Problems in Polynomial TimePretty much all of computing rests on the strong foundation of the Turing Machine, a general purpose formulation of computing which happens to be very sequential. It transfers that attribute to the Von Neuman


Quantum Supremacy? Yes and No!

October 06, 2019

Quantum Supremacy Is and Is NotHow quantum is that?! The RadioFreeHPC team discusses the Google/NASA paper, titled "Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor", that was published and then unpublished. But it's the internet and


FinTech and HPC-AI

October 01, 2019

@RadioFreeHPC Has Entered The BuildingFirst things first, you can call us @RadioFreeHPC now, thanks to our new Twitter account. We decided maybe this social media thing is not a fad after all. We are also pleased to inform you that our Twitter account is


RFP Pro Tips

September 22, 2019

The Dos and Donts of RFP BenchmarksIn today’s show we only have Dan and Henry on deck, Shahin is away at the “HPC and AI on Wall Street” event where he’ll be hosting various panel discussions. But Dan and Henry soldier on with a discussion based on a rece


Extreme Power and Cooling Efficiency

September 16, 2019

Yes, You Can Be More Efficient!Dan is back from way Down Under bearing intellectual gifts from the recent HPC-AI Advisory Council meeting in Perth. The RadioFree HPC team drills down on one interesting presentation focused on extracting more from power an


IO500 Team Visit

September 08, 2019

IO500 Benchmark Gets TractionStorage is complicated and benchmarking it has too many complexities for the traditional kernel-like or application-specific approaches. Thanks to a few experienced and tenacious researchers, and the community that supports th


The Hottest of Hot Chips Conference

September 01, 2019

The 31st Hot Chips ConferenceShahin reports from the Hot Chips conference with Henry and new guest Glenn Heinle, a veteran of AI, HPC, and Storage worlds and currently at Keeper Tech. The team discusses and debates the highlights of the conference and the


Coral is Cray for All

August 24, 2019

Cray Pulls an Exascale Hat TrickGuess who's having a great year? Think Aurora, Frontier, and El Capitan. Cray has put some nice numbers on the accounts receivable ledger, and these are not ordinary numbers. The Exascale era is being defined substantially


AMD Victory Lap

August 21, 2019

AMD Victory LapAMD mojo continues as it pushes Moore's law one more time. RadioFree looks into the AMD Rome CPU, a beast that brings back the glory days of Opteron and establishes itself as the chip to have, and establishes AMD as the company to beat. New


Who will benefit from Intel dropping Omni-Path?

August 11, 2019

Spoofing the SpoofersHenry has a brilliant idea to weaponize his password generator against phishing attacks. Intel Drops Omni-PathHenry and Shahin take a close look at the history of High Performance Interconnects, recent news, and how the market is chan


Is Our Future Liquid Cooled? Also: Provenance of Surveillance Data!

August 05, 2019

The Veracity and Provenance of Surveillance DataControversy strikes when news breaks that "Amazon's home security company Ring has enlisted local police departments around the country to advertise its surveillance cameras in exchange for free Ring product


Is cloud too expensive for HPC?

July 30, 2019

Is cloud too expensive for HPC?Enquiring minds want to know, as does the HPC community whose single-minded obsession with maximum price-performance is notorious and legendary. The Radio Free team looks at actual cloud pricing based on available data and D


Quantum Apps Are Hybrid

July 23, 2019

"Quantum applications are always and only hybrid" is the quote that Shahin wants you to remember as he gives an update on recent news in Quantum Computing, and especially how to program them. If you're always going to have to mix classical code with quant


HPC Market Eyes $44B in 5 Years

July 18, 2019

HPC Market Eyes $44BNew report from Hyperion Research has the HPC+AI market growing to $44B, with a B, in 5 years. The industry is hitting on all cylinders, benefiting from The ExaScale race,AI coming to the enterprise only to find that it needs, or reall


ExaScale is a 4-way Competition

July 07, 2019

In this post-ISC show, the RadioFree team discusses Magical cooling technology from Europe. Dan goes over magic beads that draw heat away and can carry-on doing it pretty much forever in a technology from the venerable Fraunhofer Institute and showcased b


Why did HPE buy Cray?

July 03, 2019

Why did HPE buy Cray?The RFHPC team tackles the HPE-Cray acquisition as it reviews the companies' recent moves and strengths and market conditions in the context of: the 5-tier data center application architecture: Embedded, Mobile, Desktop, On-premises,