GCS embarks on its ‘smart exascale’ decade’
FRANKFURT, Germany, June 19, 2017 — The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) has secured funding for another decade of excellence and innovation in high-performance computing (HPC).
Financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the science ministries of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and North Rhein-Westphalia, GCS is the umbrella organization of Germany's three national supercomputing facilities, the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), and Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ).
The announcement comes at ISC17–one of the world's premier supercomputing conferences, taking place June 18-22 in Frankfurt, Germany.
GCS is establishing its "smart exascale" decade by investing heavily in next-generation systems while also boosting the breadth and depth of how the centres support and collaborate with users.
"Our number one priority is providing our users all the support needed to solve the world's most difficult scientific and engineering challenges," said Michael Resch, Chair of the GCS Board of Directors and Director of HLRS. "We will continue to deliver world-class supercomputing resources, but want to ensure that our user base in research and industry can take full advantage of these technologies."
After receiving nearly €500 million for the next decade, GCS plans to greatly expand its training program, and is hiring more than 30 new staff members at the three centres for a variety of new support functions. The three GCS centres wanted to revamp the user support structure to include not only HPC support specialists, but also science domain experts. By having a contact versed in their various science domains, researchers using GCS resources can collaborate more closely with the respective centres and have a liaison available to help solve specific computing challenges in the researchers' specific areas of study.
Fostering this kind of interdisciplinary, cross-organizational collaboration will nurture long-term research partnerships between some of Europe's preeminent researchers–currently fostered through GCS participation in the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) program–and its brightest supercomputing minds, ultimately helping solve the world's toughest science and engineering challenges while staying at technology's fore.
This kind of end-to-end support is one of the most essential aspects of GCS' smart exascale vision.
Exascale computing, a thousand-fold increase over current-generation petascale machines (capable of at least 1 quadrillion calculations per second, or a petaflop), promises researchers computing power to solve previously unsolvable problems, but also presents a whole new set of challenges for researchers to be able to take full advantage of the power next-generation machines offer.
For GCS leadership, the success of exascale computing will come from not only delivering an exascale computer, but delivering the machine in an environmentally sustainable way while also providing a robust support system to ensure users from a wide variety of domains can make efficient use of these machines.
To that end, GCS centres' staff will not only increase user support capabilities, but also diligently work on making application codes portable to a variety of computing platforms as well as developing new applications suited to next-generation architectures.
"In the smart exascale decade, we will be thinking even more than before about people and education," said Claus-Axel Müller, Managing Director of GCS.
About GCS: The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) combines the three German national supercomputing centres HLRS (High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart), JSC (Jülich Supercomputing Centre), and LRZ (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, Garching near Munich) into Germany's integrated Tier-0 supercomputing institution. Together, the three centres provide the largest, most powerful supercomputing infrastructure in all of Europe to serve a wide range of academic and industrial research activities in various disciplines. They also provide top-tier training and education for the national as well as the European High Performance Computing (HPC) community. GCS is the German member of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), an international non-profit association consisting of 24 member countries, whose representative organizations create a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure, providing access to computing and data management resources and services for large-scale scientific and engineering applications at the highest performance level.
GCS is jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and North Rhine-Westphalia. It is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.gauss-centre.eu.