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16 November 2014 - 21 November 2014


16 November 2014
21 November 2014
Event Category:

PRACE – The European HPC Infrastructure at SC14

PRACE’s presence at SC’14 in New Orleans, Louisiana in November was a focal point and attracted a great deal of international attention.

Highlights included:

  • A new initiative, the PRACE Expert Drop-In was a huge success. Special thanks to our 12 PRACE experts, Hans Eide, University of Oslo; Buket Benek Gursoy ICHEC, Ireland; Jorge Rodriguez, BSC, Spain; Sophie Valcke, CERFACS, France; Radosław Januszewski, PSNC, Poland; Michael Lysaght, ICHEC, Ireland; Stelios Erotokritou, CYI, Cyprus; Sergi Girona, BSC, Spain; Stéphane Requena, GENCI, France; Michael Browne, ICHEC, Ireland; Cevdet Aykanat, Bilkent University; and Walter Lioen, SURFsara, the Netherlands who were on hand to answer questions and promote PRACE.
  • The traditional PRACE Treasure Hunt drew 74 entries. Congratulations to the three winners of a brand new NEXUS 7.
PRACE Booth Staff, SC’14

Further highlights include:

2014 Annual HPCwire Readers Choice Awards: PRACE and partners awarded!

Each year the HPCwire Readers’ Choice Awards are determined by HPCwire’s readers across the HPC community, to recognize the most outstanding individuals and organizations in the industry.

This year, PRACE and partners were awarded these prestigious and highly anticipated awards in three categories.

Readers’ Choice – Best use of HPC in automotive: Biggest car optimization study by Renault SAS on PRACE resources

The project entitled FMOC – Fast Multi-physics Optimization of a Car led by Mr. Marc Pariente of Renault SAS, France, received an allocation to date: 42 million core hours on CURIE @ GENCI@CEA, France under the 6th PRACE Call for Proposal for Project Access. This allocation is the largest to date to an industrial user of PRACE resources. Mr. Pariente presented his project in a poster at PRACEdays14 in Barcelona.

Renault also collaborated as an industrial partner in the project entitled SolitonCycLES: Exploring Soliton Cycles exhibiting abnormal combustion in a downsized spark-ignition engine using LES led by Dr. Christian Angelberger of IFP Energies Nouvelles, France, which received 15.360.000 core-hours on CURIE FN @ GENCI@CEA, France under the 6th PRACE Call for Proposal for Project Access.

Readers’ Choice – Best HPC Collaboration Between Government & Industry: PRACE SHAPE helps European SMEs overcome barriers to using HPC

The SHAPE Pilot Call allowed 10 SMEs to use PRACE resources and expertise to develop their solutions, providing them with knowledge that will allow them to make an informed decision on the selected HPC solutions and plan future actions. A second call for applications opened on 10 November 2014.

Readers’ Choice – Top Supercomputing Achievement: Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics for using CURIE to simulate the entire known Universe from its birth to present day

The award for SHAPE was presented at the PRACE booth to Sanzio Bassini, Chair of the PRACE Council and Sergi Girona, Chair of the PRACE Board of Directors, live during SC’14 in New Orleans, LA. Stéphane Requena of GENCI, France and Member of the PRACE Board of Directors, received the award on behalf of Renault. He also represented CURIE, the top-level HPC resource hosted by GENCI @ CEA, France.

These Awards clearly show that PRACE is becoming a factor of importance on the international HPC level, not only for science, but also for industry including SMEs.

We are proud to have been awarded these prestigious honours: they will fuel our persistence to improve our services to all HPC users. Sergi Girona, Chair of the PRACE Board of Directors.
The official announcement of all winners can be found here.

IDC Awards SHAPE-user Nexio Simulation

On 18 November 2014, International Data Corporation (IDC) announced the eighth round of recipients of the HPC Innovation Excellence Award at the SC’14 high performance computing (HPC) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two sets of winners are announced each year, at the November SC conference in the U.S. and the June ISC HPC conference in Germany. This round saw a second winner from PRACE SHAPE, after the award for Thesan in June.

In June 2014, at the ISC HPC Conference in Leipzig, Germany, IDC already awarded Thesan srl, an Italian SME active in the renewable energy sector which teamed up with the Italian supercomputing centre CINECA to develop simulation-driven engineering of hydroelectric turbines under the PRACE SHAPE programme.

The eighth round of awardees at SC’14 included only one European recipient, also a PRACE SHAPE supported project, led by Pascal De Resseguier of Nexio Simulation, a French SME of 50 employees located in Toulouse and specializing in electromagnetic simulation and studies for marine, space, defence and aeronautics domains applications.

2 years ago Nexio Simulation applied to HPC-PME, the French initiative to bring HPC to SMEs, for early porting on OpenMP/MPI of their in-house software called CAPITOLE-EM. They received support for HPC and applied math experts in CALMIP and INP-ENSEEIHT after which they applied to the PRACE SHAPE Pilot for scaling out to PRACE resources. They were awarded 200,000 core hours on MareNostrum @ BSC, Spain.

While the maximum size of simulation was about 500,000 unknowns in 2011, Nexio was able to simulate 6 million unknowns thanks to the use of PRACE Tier-0 resources and support. This major improvement allowed Nexio to win two major contracts with Japanese aerospace companies and to port their application on Cloud Services using the Fortissimo project.

Nexio Simulation’s success in scaling out to ever larger HPC systems, illustrates clearly the complementarity of regional/national initiatives with European initiatives like the PRACE SHAPE programme or the Fortissimo project.

Sergi Girona, Chair of the PRACE Board of Directors.


Since 2005, NEXIO SIMULATION develops simulation software in electromagnetism. CAPITOLE-EM software is the result a of long experience gained thanks to research projects in many industrial fields such as defence, aerospace, space, marine, etc. It offers outstanding performance in terms of speed and memory space saving, which allows an easy use by everyone, and especially for SMEs. NEXIO SIMULATION joined NEXIO Group (http://www.nexiogroup.com) in 2012, specialized in electromagnetic compatibility. NEXIO SIMULATION becomes the Simulation Software cluster of the Group and allows pooling expertise to provide a range of comprehensive solutions.