Radio Free HPC Podcast

News and commentary on high performance computing



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,


Quantum Computing and HPC

June 21, 2019

Quantum Computing and HPCAnother scintillating and insightful episode of RFHPC is about Quantum Computing and HPC and how the two spaces are evolving and cooperating. We welcome a a distinguished guest with a most suitable background to talk to us about H


TOP500 Jun2019, Facebook Coin

June 17, 2019

The new TOP500 list of most powerful supercomputers is out and we do our usual quick analysis. Not much changed in the TOP10 but a lot is changing further down the list. Here is a quick take: There are 65 new entries in 2019.US science is receiv


Forty+ different AI chips

June 09, 2019

What are we going to do with 40+ different AI chips?This week, the team looks at AI chips again, this time motivated by an article in EE Times about once such chip, Graphcore, and touts it as "the most complex processor" ever at some 20 billion trans


Amdahl's Law and GPUs, Asian Student Cluster Competition

June 03, 2019

Results of the Asian Student Cluster CompetitionIn this episode, Dan has just come back from China and reviews the results of the Asian Student Cluster Competition and HPC workshop.For the first time, a non-mainland-Chinese team wins the top spot. Taiwan


In-Memory, Caching, Persistence

May 03, 2019

Asian Student Cluster CompetitionThe ever-popular "calendar segment" is back (yes, that is us being sarcastic) as Dan describes his upcoming trip to Dalian, China for the Asian Student Cluster competition. 20 teams are expected to compete, mostly from mai


Black Hole Seen, with Data to Match

April 25, 2019

Here's this week's synopsis. Black Holes VisualizedThe news of the cool visualization of an actual black hole leads to interesting issues in HPC land. Shahin is at pains to give credit where it is due while considering it as an achievement in data visuali


Enterprises going HPC, Chips go Open Source, China goes for the top spot

April 11, 2019

We continue to want to make these introductions pretty brief here but not this time, apparently! Here's this week's synopsis. Nvidia GTC 2019 announcementsWe discussed the recent GTC conference. Dan has been attending since well before it became the big a


Multicore Scaling Slow Down, and Fooling AI

March 25, 2019

The team has an animated discussion about multicore scaling, how easy it seems to be to mislead AI systems, and some good sized catches of the week. A common thread is "data" as is often the case these days. We continue with making these introductions pre


AI: Realness and Bias

March 16, 2019

Starting with this episode, we'll get a bit more efficient in describing the episodes. Please let us know if you prefer the long format. If you just subscribe on iTunes and never see these words, well, that tells us something too! In this episode, the tea


Nvidia, Mellanox: Married!

March 11, 2019

Big news in the industry today was Nvidia buying Mellanox for $6.9B. This called fo an emergency session of our crack panel. While it will be several months before the full impact of this merger is felt, the RFHPC team believes this will change both the H


Arm for Exascale is Coming

March 10, 2019

The show starts with a brief reference to Henry’s "Gator" nickname, a shout out to listeners 13, 14, and 15, plus a bad Arm processor pun. (Puns are the lowest form of humor other than limericks, Dan wits.) This is an Arm heavy show, with our opening disc


The sinking of the Itanic, a respectful farewell

March 05, 2019

Our conversation begins with Dan berating Henry for cheaping out on a new headset for our Radio Free HPC recordings. (Henry has since relented and pried open his wallet to purchase a truly fine headset.) Finally, we get on to the show proper. After years


Supercomputing to Modernize the Electric Grid

February 15, 2019

We open the show by talking some weather. It’s so cold at Henry’s house (in Minnesota) that he’s becoming a human superconductor and quantum computing experimenters are showing up at his house to test their systems under uber cold conditions. Shahin adds


What's an AI Supercomputer? What's up with software SMP?

February 11, 2019

We start our discussion by contemplating the fact that Shahin doesn’t have a middle name (he says he never needed one) and touching on why Henry has picked up the nick name ‘Gator’ Newman. What's an AI supercomputer?Our first topic is whether a supercompu


China Exascale Again (Tianhe-3 is coming), GDPR shows its teeth

February 02, 2019

After a short talk about the weather in Henry’s basement (it had just reached 60 F by the time we recorded the show), we got right down to business with an important announcement:  our pal Rich Brueckner is leaving the show. He just has too much on h