What is High Performance Computing? https://www.automation.com/files/pluginfiles/item_99804/field_376/cpu_reg.png
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High Performance Computing (HPC) is the parallel processing used to execute advanced software applications more efficiently and faster. High-performance computing is used to solve advanced mathematical calculations and data processing using computer modeling, simulation, and analysis. HPC systems provide consistent performance through their unique synchronous parallel processing power.
Most HPC systems are based on a single or dual CPU and one or more graphics processing units (GPUs). The GPUs play a critical role in HPC performance as they can undergo extreme calculations and the CPU takes over the work behind the scenes of the operating system and applications.
The CPUs are made up of multiple cores that are used for serial processing. In contrast, GPUs contain thousands of small cores designed to handle thread data in a large parallel architecture. Because each of these cores can simultaneously handle a small amount of work in parallel with the thousands of other cores, complex mathematical calculations can be broken down, solved, and then more efficiently combined than relying on a multi-core serial CPU. In combination with software written for parallel processing, performance improvements over serial processing can range from 12x to 40x.
Differences between CPU and GPU: Any GPU can deliver hundreds or even a thousand cores more than a typical multi-core processor.
What types of applications do HPCs require?
Over the years, there has been a growing demand for High Performance Computing Platforms (HPC) by armed forces. In the past, data acquisition activities that generate petabytes of data, such as satellite imagery, UAV sensor feeds, for example, require processing by supercomputers, that the data must be physically transported to these systems, or that the data is processed locally by slower computers can take hours to days. By providing parallel processing techniques to solve complex computing problems on a rugged platform, the HPC computer has revolutionized data collection and analysis for today's warfighter.
Using specially designed software and an HPC system, it is possible to map large areas in seconds instead of days. The system that would map the target area and the spatial extent between buildings, roads and terrain. To map large areas like cities, advanced algorithms are needed to extract, render, model, and interpret satellite imagery. The parallel processing capability of a GPU-based system allows algorithms to process images at dramatic speeds. For example, today's GPU-based system and software today can use satellite imagery to map a 200 km² city, including all buildings and roads, in less than 20 seconds.
Video and Image Processing
In video processing, an extremely fast dual-CPU computer can only analyze a single HD video stream (1080p) at approximately 15 frames per second. Adding a single NVIDIA Tesla GPU to the server platform speeds up video editing software up to 12x. This number can also be increased by adding more GPUs to a platform. This increase in parallel processing power can reduce the time required to analyze 24-hour HD video (1080p) to less than an hour. This allows the military to identify security threats or targets of interest much more quickly and with greater accuracy.
In addition, HPC systems can be used for image enhancement applications where previously hidden data becomes visible in satellite or UAV images. Parallel processing allows real-time image stabilization and enhancement techniques to be used to clean video feeds. When these computers are deployed on-site and do not need to be transferred to remote locations for further analysis or transported back, it adds a new dimension when information can be processed and understood in real-time.
The HPC system uses image enhancement software, such as orthorectification (which modifies the image for topographic reliefs and corrects both lens distortion and camera angles) for a more accurate representation of the Earth's surface. Another technology is "pan-sharpening," which produces high-resolution, high-resolution images by combining high-resolution black and white images with medium-resolution color images.
Orthorectification and pan-sharpening are high-intensity mathematical processes requiring supercomputer performance. With CPU processes alone, it may take several minutes to hours for such processes to complete. An HPC / GPU solution can process these algorithms up to 12 times faster for orthorectification and up to 40 times faster for pan sharpening over a pure CPU-based system.
The SWaP Advantage
SWaP is a military abbreviation for (size, weight and power). These are very important product features for today's military. Introducing the latest GPU technologies into a rugged platform offers the following SWaP benefits:
A single GPU server can process and analyze as many complex video and imaging data as 12 dual-CPU servers! This performance advantage can significantly reduce the size of the entire system platform. Using the same comparison, a fully integrated 2U with a GPU system could weigh less than 30 pounds, while the stack of twelve systems reduced the total weight of the platform by 270 pounds. Consider a single 2U system with a single GPU power consumption of about 500W. In the 12-system scenario, power consumption in the 4,000-watt range would save over 3,500 watts in total power consumption. When comparing size, weight, and performance benefits, an HPC configuration is the clear winner.
Choosing the Right HPC Provider
Because each customer project is unique and presents different challenges, Chassis Plans provides a platform solution that's right for any specific application. To provide an HPC in a harsh environment, there are several areas that improve the chassis layout from a mechanical and thermal point of view. This process begins with understanding a customer's environmental requirements, which can range from ground, vehicle, marine and aircraft applications - each requiring their own specific requirements.
About Chassis Plans  Chassis Plans is now part of the Aeronautics group of companies, manufacturing computers, LCD displays, and storage arrays designed and assembled in the US for military and industrial applications , Founded in 1997, CP specializes in rugged and custom computer and LCD technologies for the DoD and industrial markets.
For more information, visit the CP Web site at http://www.chassis-plans.com or call 800.787.4913 or email [email protected]Have this Enjoyed articles?
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