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3D Web Will Save High-Performance Computing Industry

Network World (11/17/09) Brodkin, Jon

Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner believes that three-dimensional (3D) Web technologies will revive the high-performance computing (HPC) industry.  Rattner, who delivered the opening address at the SC09 supercomputing conference, said HPC demand is currently limited to small markets.  However, he said virtually the entire population could benefit from HPC if the right platform became available.  “High-performance computing doesn’t need a killer app as much as it needs a killer application framework,” Rattner said.  “It needs a platform in which people can leverage the power of high-performance computing to do just about anything they can imagine.”  Rattner believes the killer application framework is the 3D Web, powered on the back end by cloud technologies and the HPC industry.  The 3D Web will power virtual worlds and create new ways for people to interact, as well as new platforms for businesses to test products.  Guest speaker Aaron Duffy, a biology researcher at Utah State University, said he is using 3D simulations to study how environmental conditions affect fern populations over several generations.  Fashion Research Institute CEO Shenlei Winkley, another guest speaker, said 3D modeling and simulation programs have reduced design times by 75 percent and sample costs by 65 percent.  “This is the killer application infrastructure platform that will power growth and increase [research and development] capability in high-performance computing,” Rattner said.


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