May 28 — EPCC, the supercomputing centre at The University of Edinburgh, has been designated an Intel Parallel Computing Centre (IPCC), through a prestigious grant from Intel – a distinction currently held by only a handful of parallel computing centres worldwide. Through this new partnership, EPCC will collaborate with Intel to optimise several open source high performance computing (HPC) applications for Intel’s latest parallel processor architectures.
Professor Mark Parsons, EPCC’s Executive Director (Research & Commercialisation), said, “Designation as an IPCC gives us an incredible opportunity to work on a range of important, and widely used, simulation codes to ensure that they can utilise the latest Intel hardware effectively. ARCHER, the UK’s national HPC service hosted and supported by EPCC is a Cray XC30 system with Intel Xeon Processor E5-2697 v2. It is therefore essential that mainstream simulation packages, which account for more than half the usage of ARCHER, are properly optimised to get maximum benefit from this technology.”
Adrian Jackson, Research Architect at EPCC and leader for EPCC’s involvement in the G8-funded Nu-Fuse project, said, “The centre will build on a range of world-class projects, collaborations, and initiatives that EPCC is currently involved with, including European HPC projects such as PRACE and CRESTA and global simulation initiatives, such as Nu-Fuse.”
Dr. Michèle Weiland, Project Manager at EPCC said, “The initial target for optimisation and porting work are codes that EPCC is already very familiar with, have had experience parallelising and optimising for standard distributed memory parallel systems, and are used by a wide community of simulation scientists for world leading science on global challenges such as energy security, climate change, and future manufacturing technologies.”
Bob Burroughs, Director of Technical Computing Ecosystem Enabling at Intel, said, “Intel is pleased to expand our Intel Parallel Computing Center program in collaborating with EPCC. This new centre creates an opportunity for Intel and EPCC to innovate and optimize applications which benefit industry and science in Europe and globally.”
EPCC’s Application Consultants, who are experts in the performance tuning of HPC modelling and simulation codes, will undertake the code porting and optimisation tasks. A further aim of the IPCC is to leverage the world-leading hardware available at EPCC, and its extensive training programmes, to provide training and expertise to a wider range of academic and industrial participants in the UK and Europe on efficiently using Intel hardware for computational simulation.
EPCC is Europe’s leading high-performance computing centre and is home to some of Europe’s fastest and most powerful computers with 75 staff committed to the solution of real-world problems. EPCC currently hosts and manages several national-level facilities (ARCHER, DiRAC BlueGene/Q and UK-RDF) as well as providing an on-demand computing facility for its industry clients. The centre provides a broad range of software development services and is one of the major providers of HPC training in Europe, offering MSc and PhD opportunities in addition to training tailored to the needs of industry.