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Artificial intelligence gives supercomputers new superpowers

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Artificial intelligence gives supercomputers new superpowers

The world’s fastest supercomputers can do many things. But, the high-performance computing (HPC), is increasingly relying on artificial intelligence (AI).

At the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) 2022, which ran from May 29 to June 2 in Hamburg, Germany, vendors announced new hardware and software systems for the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Among the major announcements was AMD revealing its silicon now powers the Frontier supercomputer, which is being constructed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. It will be installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee. Intel also announced the silicon projects that will enable future HPC system, including the Sapphire Rapids processor and the Rialto Bridge GPU technologies.

Nvidia used ISC 2022 as the venue to announce that its Grace Hopper superchip will be powering the Venado supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Nvidia shared multiple examples of how HPC innovations have been used to enable AI for nuclear Fusion and brain health research. HPC is more than the fastest supercomputers in the world. Linux vendor Red Hat announced it was working with the U.S. Department of Energy in order to bridge the gap between cloud environments, and HPC.

In terms of the intersection of HPC and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), it’s an area that the ISC conference is likely to continue to highlight for years to come.

“AI/ML will continue to play a larger role in HPC,” John Shalf (program chair for ISC) said to VentureBeat. “We really want to drill into the AI/ML implementations and applications that directly impact science, engineering, and applications in both academia .”

Intel seeing increasing role for HPC and AI workloads

For Intel, the intersection between HPC and AI seems to be quite clear.

Anil Naduri, vice-president for strategy and market initiatives for Intel’s Super Compute Group explained to VentureBeat how HPC workloads require a lot of computing power. These are typically used for scientific computing. He added that most of the top 500 supercomputers are great examples for high performance applications where the scientific community researches new drug discoveries and material sciences, and runs climate change models, simulations for manufacturing, complex fluid dynamic models and more.

” Just like traditional HPC workloads. AI/ML workloads have greater computing requirements.” Nanduri stated. “There are large-scale AI models running on data centers infrastructures that require similar computing performance to some of the top HPC clusters .”

Nanduri sees a lot of demand for HPC-powered artificial intelligence as it can improve productivity and performance.

” As AI workloads grow with huge datasets that need HPC-level analysis and analysis, we will see more AI in HPC and more HPC computing needs in AI,” Nanduri said.

How AI makes HPC more powerful

Last week’s ISC saw the major announcement of the Frontier system. It was proclaimed the world’s fastest supercomputer.

According to Yan Fisher (global evangelist for emerging technology at Red Hat), applying AI/ML to supercomputers will raise their computational power to a new level. As an example, the primary benchmark metric used in the top 500 supercomputer list is FLOPS (floating point operations per second). Fisher explained that FLOPS was created to show the ability of supercomputers to perform floating-point calculations with high precision. Complex calculations require time and lots of processing power.

“On the other hand, AI allows for faster results by using lower precision calculations and then evaluating the result to narrow down the answer to a higher degree of accuracy,” Fisher explained to VentureBeat. “The Frontier system, using the HPL-AI benchmark, has demonstrated capabilities to perform over six times more AI-focused calculations per second than traditional floating point calculations, significantly expanding computational capabilities of that system.”

From HPC supercomputers to enterprise-level improvements in AI

HPC powers large systems. But what about the impact of AI innovations on supercomputers for enterprise users? Fisher pointed out that AI/ML is being adopted by enterprises as they undergo digital transformation.

What’s even more fascinating is his belief that once enterprises understand how to use AI/ML and get the benefits, then demand for AI/ML infrastructure will rise. This demand is what drives the next stage of adoption: the ability to scale.

” This is where HPC has been historically ahead of the pack, breaking up large problems into smaller pieces and running them in parallel or in a more optimal manner,” Fisher stated.

On the other hand Fisher stated that containers are less common in HPC and that if they do exist, they are not the same application containers we see in cloud and enterprise deployments. Red Hat has partnered with the Department of Energy National Labs to help their scientists use modern infrastructure tools.

Nanduri at Intel said that he is seeing a growing demand for compute acceleration in general purpose computing, HPC, and AI workloads. Nanduri said that Intel plans to offer a wide range of heterogeneous architectures paired with systems and software.

” These architectures, software, and systems will enable us to improve performance by orders-of-magnitude, while reducing power requirements across HPC, general-purpose AI/ML workloads, and other computing resources,” Nanduri stated. “The beauty of the Cambrian explosion in AI is that all the innovations driven by the need for scalable compute will enable enterprises to leap forward without needing to invest in long research cycles.”

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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