A Pan-European Approach to High Performance Computing
By Josh Simons on Nov 16, 2008
Dr. Thomas Lippert, Director of the the Institute for Advanced Simulation and Head of Jülich Supercomputing Center, spoke at the HPC Consortium Meeting today about PRACE, an important effort to establish a pan-European HPC infrastructure beyond anything available today.
To quote from the PRACE website,
"The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe prepares the creation of a persistent pan-European HPC service, consisting several tier-0 centres providing European researchers with access to capability computers and forming the top level of the European HPC ecosystem. PRACE is a project funded in part by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme."
Dr. Lippert explained that the reasoning behind PRACE is to improve the strategic competitiveness of researchers and of industrial development and to strengthen and revitalize HPC across Europe. The vision for how this will be accomplished includes a multi-tiered hierarchy of centers that starts at the top with a small number of tier-0 European sites, coupled with tier-1 sites at the national level, and also with tier-2 sites at the regional level.
This is a huge program, now in the planning stages. It is expected to require funding at the level of 200-400M Euros per year over 4-5 years with a similar amount allocated for operating costs.
[Dr. Lippert also discussed the next generation supercomputer to be built soon at Jülich, but I have omitted that information here to avoid sharing any inappropriate information.]