PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, celebrates its second anniversary on 23rd April 2012. Since its birth on 23rd April 2010, PRACE has seen a continuous growth and now has 24 member organisations from EU Member States and associated countries. Negotiations with interested parties from further countries are under way.
PRACE opened its 5th biannual call for Project Access on 17th April 2012. The computing resources for this call are available from 1st November 2012 to 31st October 2013. The new call will feature additional Tier-0 systems with new computing architectures, with 1336 million core hours available. By end of 2012 the infrastructure will be fully deployed with 6 Tier-0 centres and a computing power of 10 PetaFlops approximately.
High Performance Computing (HPC) is a key technology for fostering future breakthroughs in science and increasing industrial competitiveness. The European Commission (EC) sets high goals for the development of HPC use and capabilities in Europe and supports PRACE as the pan-European HPC e-infrastructure. The mission of the PRACE Research Infrastructure is to enable high impact European scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines.
Early 2012 PRACE established six PRACE Training Centres (PTCs) and opened a training portal for web-based training and dissemination of advanced educational material.
PRACE unlocks the potential of the Tier-0 systems run by its members by successfully providing access to these resources to Research Communities in Europe and the world. Since the Early Access call in May 2010, 6 call for proposals have been published and each call has seen an increased number of replies. A rigorous technical and scientific peer review process ensures that the most promising, innovative and suitable research receives core hours on the PRACE Tier-0 systems. This ensures the best use of scarce computing resources: the demand from the scientific user community exceeds the available resources by a factor of more than three. Up to the 3rd Call (including Early Access):
- 227 proposals asked for 6181 million core hours
- 60 proposals were awarded for a total of 1803 million core hours
On average this means 30.50 million granted core hours per proposal! HPC resources on this level are beyond what any EU member state can make available, and clearly demonstrate both the need for a European HPC infrastructure and the success of PRACE in meeting this demand.
Through the PRACE Tier-0 infrastructure, research in many disciplines has been successfully completed, for example:
- The Cenaero industrial pilot project “noFUDGE” on designing high-performance jet-engines, which will lead to greater energy efficiency and noise reduction.
- Research aimed to understand and predict turbulent transport in magnetically confined fusion plasmas, which could lead to a new CO2-free energy source.
- Research on the characterisation of electron transfer in organic solar cell materials; a promising technology for the future energy market.
The second anniversary of PRACE Research Infrastructure takes place while the second Implementation Phase (PRACE-2IP) project is in full swing. PRACE will continue its work towards:
- Making the EU the world leader in High-Performance Computing (HPC)
- Supporting the evolution of Tier-0 systems to exa-scale speeds
- Defining high-value services to scientific and engineering research communities that leverage the excellence in know-how and resources made available to PRACE by its members
- Expanding its network of members to further increase co-ordination between national HPC actors in terms of governance and acquisition of supercomputing capacity