The sky’s not the limit for the cloud: Microsoft is partnering with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to bring Azure cloud computing to the International Space Station.
HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2, which is due for launch to the station as early as Feb. 20 aboard Northrop Grumman’s robotic Cygnus cargo ship, will deliver edge computing, artificial intelligence capabilities and a cloud connection to orbit on an integrated platform for what could be the first time.
There are also academic partners (MIT and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), federal agency partners (NASA and the National Science Foundation) and five Department of Energy labs (Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia).
Hewlett Packard Enterprise says it’s been selected to build a supercomputer designed to simulate the inner workings of the mouse brain by 2020.
The computer, known as Blue Brain 5, will become the platform for the Blue Brain Project, a Swiss-led campaign to model and simulate the mammalian brain. The project — which is under the supervision of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, or EPFL — meshes with international neuroscience efforts such as Europe’s Human Brain Project and the U.S. BRAIN Initiative.
“The Blue Brain Project’s scientific mission is critically dependent on our supercomputing capabilities,” project co-director Felix Schürmann said today in a news release announcing the collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“Modeling an individual neuron at Blue Brain today leads to around 20,000 ordinary differential equations – when modeling entire brain regions, this quickly raises to 100 billion equations that have to be solved concurrently,” Schürmann said. “HPE helps us to navigate the challenging technology landscape in supercomputing.”
HPE was awarded an initial contract for the project at the end of 2017, and follow-up work could bring the total value of the award to more than $18 million.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory staked its claim to retake the lead from China in the world’s supercomputer race with a machine capable of performing 200 quadrillion calculations a second.
That 200-petaflop speed is roughly eight times as fast as the current top-rated U.S. supercomputer, built by Seattle-based Cray and known as Titan. It’s twice as fast as the record currently held by China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which is listed at 93.01 petaflops on last November’s authoritative TOP500 list.
Chinese supercomputers have held the No. 1 spot on the TOP500 list since 2013. The next edition of the list is due to come out later this month.