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09-06-2017
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Dome symposium, paths towards exascale in radio astronomy

Submitter: Albert-Jan Boonstra
Description: After five years of hard work at the ASTRON & IBM Centre for Exascale Technology, the Dome team presented their latest results at the Dome Symposium on May 18-19. These efforts aim at preparing for the exascale era in radio astronomy, more specifically for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Na´ve scaling of conventional technologies would yield a telescope requiring in the order of a gigaWatt to run, and even Moore's law will not be able to completely bridge the gap between what is desirable and what is possible.

The Dome project therefore focused on Green Computing that addresses technologies to radically reduce the power needed to do computationally intensive work on extremely large amounts of data, Nano-Photonics that addresses technologies needed to drastically reduce the power of data transport over longer distances and inside computing machines, and Data & Streaming that addresses technologies to process data on-the-fly and store data at a high efficiency for later use.

Indeed, with well over one hundred peer-reviewed publications, tens of architectures proposed and demonstrated in both computing and photonics, tooling created for storage and computer architecture modelling, several tens of SKA design reports produced, and by supporting an active Users Platform with thirty members, the Dome project has shown paths towards exascale, and can truly be considered a success.

The symposium addressed all of this by giving an overview of the designs and of the data and computing challenges posed by the SKA, and subsequently zooming in into specific areas where Dome contributed and where Dome proposed designs that significantly improve efficiency. The Symposium made clear we have taken big steps towards our "dot on the horizon", but that we are not there yet.

Symposium link: http://www.dome-exascale.nl/symposium2017/
Copyright: ASTRON
 
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