We welcome a a distinguished guest with a most suitable background to talk to us about HPC and Quantum Computing. Mike Booth, who’s been in supercomputing since 1979 including stints at Cray through 2000 where he ran the Software and Applications division and was later a GM at StorageTek heading the network storage division. He got into Quantum Computing when he joined D-Wave. He had just accepted to be the CTO of Quantum Computing, Inc. when we recorded this show.
We discuss and touch on how Quantum Computing and HPC interface, analog vs digital, qubits, magnets, resistors, connectors, cryogenics, algorithms, languages, the huge search spaces, NP-complete problems, quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (Qubo), Tabu search, etc. and how they are two different games right now but touching two sides of the big problems that represent grand challenges. Because QC is an accelerator, it fits nicely with how a lot of HPC is being done today.
ExaScale at Oakridge
Mike happens to be in Tennessee, and the episode was recorded when the new ExaScale system at Oakridge was announced so the team. That was quite a significant day for US science, and a second big win for Cray, this time with AMD. It’s one of the few large systems that is not based on Intel or Nvidia technologies, and was described as:
- 100 Cray Shasta cabinets
- 40 MW power
- More than 1 million lbs weight
- 7,300 square feet
- 90 miles of cabling
- 5,900 gallons of water per minute for cooling
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