HPE’s Bill Mannel on Exascale, Processor Proliferation, and Snapsot of Cray Portfolio History
As part of ISC21 and in keeping with its ‘virtual nature’ several HPC community leaders were video interviewed on a range of topics. HPCwireparticipated in this program and chatted with Bill Mannel, HPE’s senior vice president and GM for HPC. Exascale computing topped the agenda given HPE’s remarkable win of all three currently planned U.S. exascale systems, but the conversation also explored growing processor diversity, AI prospects and challenges, and more.
Bill is a familiar figure in HPC. He is a former HPCwire Person to Watch (2016). He joined HPE in 2014 from SGI (later acquired by HPE) and has had stints at NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Presented here is a slightly longer version of the video interview (~30 mins) than the one shown by ISC. It’s one of those cases where, we think, the first take – this one – was the best but also a bit too long for the original time slot allotted. Enjoy.
Extending the Boundaries of What’s Possible With Cray
It started with the vision of a single individual. Seymour Cray loved the art of designing computers. He loved the challenge of coaxing more and more speed out of circuits and wires. And he loved the allure of doing it all with simplicity and grace.
Mr. Cray formed Cray Research in 1972 to ask new questions. To realize his vision of the world’s fastest computing systems. He saw impossible, shrugged, and went back to his work.
With this vision and a small group of engineers, Cray produced the Cray-1 supercomputer. A masterpiece of engineering, the Cray-1 rewrote compute technology from processing to cooling to packaging. And it wrote a company and an industry permanently into history.
FROM THE CRAY-1 TO HPE CRAY
Cray Research’s mission at its start was to build the industry’s fastest computers and lead large-scale scientific computing. But as the company saw what people could do with those systems, the mission evolved. Simple speed expanded to include a commitment to helping solve scientific and industrial problems that make the world safer, healthier, and smarter.
HPE shared the vision that began with Seymour Cray. In 2019, HPE acquired Cray and with it opened a new chapter in a vibrant, ongoing supercomputing journey. Check out the picture book history of Cray below and get a more detailed look at each iteration of the platform through history via the link here.
Read more here: