Issue 58, 9 November 2006

In this issue:

  • Top Story - Computing centre chooses NAG's high performance numerical libraries for new supercomputer system
  • Product Information - Coming soon... IRIS Explorer 5.2 for Windows and N-SEA Version 2
  • User Story - NAG statistical components enhance risk management application
  • NAG in the News - “Are you ready for multi-multi-core systems?”
  • General Information - Three Decades of NAG - 1987-1996... collaborations and development
  • Tips & Hints - Using the NAG DLLs with the Lahey Compiler
  • Events - USA & UK
  • Product News - New Implementations

Top Story - Computing centre chooses NAG's high performance numerical libraries for new supercomputer system

The prestigious Leibniz Rechenzentrum (LRZ), based in Munich, Germany, recently updated its supercomputer system to a hugely powerful 4096 CPU SGI Altix 4700, which offers an outstanding twenty times increase in performance over its predecessor, the Hitachi SR8000 computer. A spokesman from LRZ said “Technical and scientific high performance supercomputing is becoming more and more important. In increasingly more disciplines the employment of high performance computers is proving to be the more cost efficient, systematic, and sometimes even faster alternative than time intensive and often expensive experiments. High performance supercomputers are therefore a prerequisite to enable research in the domain of science and technology to stay competitive.”

To ensure that researchers using the machine at the computing centre have access to numerical software that unleashes the power of the hardware, LRZ turned to NAG to provide numerical and statistical routines from the NAG SMP and Parallel Libraries. The NAG SMP Library, recently updated to Mark 21, which is used by some of the world's most prestigious supercomputing centres was produced to enable developers and programmers to make optimal use of the processing power and shared memory parallelism of Symmetric Multi-Processor (SMP) or cache-coherent non-uniform memory access (ccNUMA) systems.

To learn more about the new supercomputing system at LRZ please visit http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/services/compute/hlrb/hardware/hardware.html


Product Information - Coming soon... IRIS Explorer 5.2 for Windows and N-SEA version 2

The latest version of IRIS Explorer http://www.nag.co.uk/Welcome_IEC.asp, NAG's popular visualization toolkit, is 5.2. It includes a variety of bug fixes and other enhancements for new environments and has already been made available for Intel Linux, Power Mac OS X and AMD 64-bit Linux. In response to user requests, the next release of IRIS Explorer 5.2 will be for Microsoft Windows XP; work on this port is almost complete following a beta release to selected users earlier this summer. In addition to the bug fixes mentioned above, the Windows XP port of IRIS Explorer 5.2 contains enhancements to enable the handling larger data sets - a feature which many users have asked for in the past.

NAG Schools Excel Add-in (N-SEA) is a Microsoft Excel Add-in WHICH supports and enhances the instruction of statistics in schools, colleges and universities. N-SEA enables even greater use of the world's most widely used spreadsheet package Microsoft Excel(r). Version 2 of N-SEA, which features extensive new functionality, is due for launch very soon. If you would like to be part of the beta-test program for this product or want to receive more information about N-SEA please email us at mailto:nagnews@nag.co.uk.


User Story - NAG statistical components enhance risk management application

One of the key features of NAG's numerical libraries is the wide-ranging numerical functionality within each collection. Unbeknown to some, the NAG Library contains a large number of routines specifically created for statistical analysis.

World leader in providing IT solutions to the financial services industry, i-flex® solutions, identified the need to enhance a module in their suite of analytical applications, Reveleus, called “Modeling Framework” with additional statistical functionality. Recognizing NAG's global reputation for high quality, tried and tested numerical components, i-flex turned to NAG to provide the required statistical software needed to enhance their product offering.

The statistical functionality in the NAG Library served to add value to Reveleus in many ways, including giving users confidence in the accuracy of their analytics. Recent product enhancements of the C and Fortran Libraries include extended statistical areas of: Copulas - Normal and Student's t, Multivariate Normal, Student's t distribution random numbers, Mixed effects regression and Stepwise linear regression.

To learn more about the statistical functionality within the NAG Library visit http://www.nag.co.uk/Market/articles/prcl08.asp


NAG in the News - “Are you ready for multi-multi-core systems?”

It's not news to most in the developer community that “the business model for HPC-specific applications software has all but evaporated in the last decade”. The same U.S. Government-sponsored survey by the Council on Competitiveness that made this statement went on to report, “There is a lack of readiness for Petascale Systems. Three-quarters (74%) of the ISV applications are ‘legacy applications’ that are more than five years old, and seven out of eight (87%) are at least three years old. Fewer than half (46%) of the ISV applications scale even to hundreds of processors today, and 40% of the applications have no immediate plans to scale to this level. Very few codes scale to thousands of processors today or are being aimed at this level of scalability. If current development timeframes continue, the majority of ISV codes will not be able to take full advantage of petascale systems until three to five years after they are introduced.”

The exact lag time from where the HPC market is today to where it needs to go is unknown. But while crystal balls that clarify the rate at which market demand for HPC products will mature are admittedly in short supply, the hardware trends that will smooth the transition to a mature HPC market are easy to see. The 2006 version of technical computing “reality” is an inexpensive dual-core processor from AMD or Intel on a desktop system or a dual or quad core RISC processor from Sun or IBM running on a server. In 2007 we should expect to see inexpensive quad-core processors from AMD and Intel and 8 or more cores per processor in 2008. These small SMP systems will be a far cry from the proprietary $500,000+ SMP systems of a few years ago. What does this mean to the dynamics of HPC market maturity? The bottom line is that 4-8 core systems costing a few thousand dollars will be sitting on the desk of every technical software user in the relatively near future.

To read the entire article written by NAG CEO, Rob Meyer and recently published in Ubiquity visit http://www.nag.co.uk/IndustryArticles/multi_multi_core_acmu.asp


General Information - Three Decades of NAG - 1987-1996... collaborations and development

Along with a continuing emphasis on quality and collaboration, the principal feature of the second decade of NAG was the broadening of the NAG product range to include new versions of the main Library products, Fortran tools and the world's first Fortran 90 compiler, the advanced visualization application building system, IRIS Explorer, and involvement in symbolic/numeric software development. The world of scientific computing was undergoing major transformation during this decade, with the advent of the PC and the internet, and the range of NAG product and research activities sought to reflect and anticipate this continuing process of change.

  • Brian Ford, Founder Director of NAG, awarded OBE in 1989 in “recognition of outstanding services to British industry and research”.
  • Collaboration in the US-funded LAPACK linear algebra project begins 1987.
  • Funded by EU ESPRIT II, the FOCUS (intelligent front-ends) and Supernode 2 (high performance computing) projects begin.
  • NAG GmbH is established in Germany in 1990.
  • NAG's first set of routines in C is launched in 1990, The NAG C Library, Mark 1.
  • New NAG product launches of:
    • NAGWare Fortran Tools, Release 1
    • NAGWare f90 Compiler, Release 1
    • IRIS Explorer, Release 3
    • The NAG Parallel Library, Release 1
    • AXIOM (symbolic solver system), Release 1
  • Major new Marks of NAG's principal Library products continue to be released - in keeping with NAG's commitment to continued enhancement.
  • GRASPARC (computational visualisation) project begins in 1990, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry.
  • First availability of LAPACK routines in 1992.
  • NAG Web site established in 1993.
  • Commencement of PINEAPL (parallel numerical software) and FRISCO (polynomial solvers) projects begin, both funded by EU Fourth Framework.
  • Nihon NAG KK (formerly IRIS Explorer Center Japan) formed in Tokyo, 1996.

The next issue of NAGNews will feature accolades from the third decade following incorporation.


Tips & Hints - Using the NAG DLLs with the Lahey Compiler

Earlier technical tips have described how the NAG DLLs may be used by a wide variety of compilers and environments. These include the NAGWare compiler, Excel, Visual Basic, Microsoft C, .NET and Delphi. A previous article described in more detail how the NAG Fortran DLLs may be used with the Absoft compilers.

This article continues in the same vein by detailing the use of the DLLs with Lahey compiler. The advice has been tested using Lahey Fortran version 7.1.

  1. Code changes

    There are a few simple changes that must be made to a standard Fortran program to allow the NAG DLLs to be used by Lahey Fortran:

    • For each NAG routine called directly insert a DLL_IMPORT statement in the calling program or subprogram e.g.
            DLL_IMPORT D02CJF
      
    • For each NAG routine passed as an argument to a routine in the DLL insert a DLL_IMPORT statement in the calling program or subprogram e.g.
            DLL_IMPORT D02CJW
      
    • For each user-supplied subroutine or function used as an argument to a routine in the DLL insert a DLL_IMPORT statement in the calling program or subprogram e.g.
            DLL_IMPORT OUT
      
      and in the user-supplied subroutine or function insert a DLL_EXPORT statement i.e..
            DLL_EXPORT OUT
      
      should be inserted in subroutine OUT.

Remember to declare all these subroutines and functions as EXTERNAL and also to declare the type of any functions used. The names of imported functions are case sensitive; this means that NAG names must be in upper case.

THE TECHNICAL TIP IS TOO LONG TO FEATURE IN FULL, HOWEVER YOU CAN VIEW THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, ALONG WITH ALL OTHER NAGNEWS TIPS & HINTS ON OUR WEBSITE HERE http://www.nag.co.uk/techtips/techtip029.asp


Events - USA & UK
  • SC06 - Supercomputing - 11-17 November 2006, Tampa, Florida, USA
    Join NAG once again this year at SC06, the premier international conference on high performance computing, networking and the world's leading forum for exchanging ideas and accomplishments. Under the theme “Powerful Beyond Imagination” this conference will be held November 11-17, 2006, in Tampa, Florida. Visit NAG at booth 805. Learn more about the conference at http://www.sc06.supercomputing.org.

  • Numerical components for the finance industry - free city seminar - 13 December 2006, London, UK
    NAG is delighted to be hosting a free city seminar with leading finance publication, Wilmott, in December. The seminar will feature speakers from industry and academia. More details of this event will be available on our website shortly, however if you would like to register your interest in attending please email us at mailto:nagnews@nag.co.uk and we will send you an invitation.

Product News - New Implementations

NAG is committed to offering new implementations of its broad range of numerical and statistical software, compilers and tools. Since the last edition of NAGNews, platform availability has increased as detailed below.

The NAG C Library, Mark 8 is now also available for the following platform:

  • x86-32 Linux using the gcc 3.3.5 Compiler

The NAG Fortran Library, Mark 21 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • NECWSX-8R SUPER-UX using the Fortran90/SX Rev Compiler
  • x86-32 Linux using the Lahey/Fujitsu f95 L6.20d Compiler
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER using the Fujitsu Fortran Compiler

The NAG Fortran 90 Library, Release 4 is now also available for the following platform:

  • x86-32 Linux using the Intel Fortran 8.1/9.0/9.1 Compiler

The NAGWare f95 Compiler, Release 5.1 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • Sun SPARC Solaris using the gcc 3.4.2 Compiler
  • Apple Power Mac OS X using the gcc 3.3 Compiler

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