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Update: The Edinburgh International Data Facility

Author: Rob Baxter
Posted: 13 Jan 2021 | 10:35

Work on the Edinburgh International Data Facility has passed three key milestones, bringing the infrastructure that will underpin the £600m Data-Driven Innovation Programme significantly closer to reality.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, EIDF’s home, Computer Room 4 (cr4) at the University’s Advanced Computing Facility, completed its main construction phase at the end of the third quarter of 2020 and cr4 has entered its commissioning and fit-out phase.  If everything goes to plan, we will start to build infrastructure in the room from January 2021.

A researcher's perspective on working with the Software Sustainability Institute

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 11 Dec 2020 | 08:50

By Edward Wallace, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

Why I need sustainable software for my research

I run a lab, or research group, in the School of Biological Sciences at Edinburgh. My group  is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society and BBSRC. We're interested in questions about how cells decide which proteins to make and when. Also, how cells change which proteins they make when they learn something from the environment and need to change what they're doing. In the 21st century we collect some very large datasets to measure this. There are datasets based on sequencing the RNA, which encodes protein, and datasets that measure all the proteins in cells at the same time. These datasets are measuring thousands of different things in many samples, often dozens of samples. Each dataset is gigabytes in size, and so it's quite hard work to dig into them and get the simplest and most relevant answers about what cells are doing.

Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop 2021

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 8 Dec 2020 | 14:47

The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop 2021 (CW21) will take place online from March 30–April 1 2021. Registration is now open!

Modelling triple stellar interactions during a pandemic

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 8 Dec 2020 | 10:46

Alexey Bobrick (Lund UniversitySpirit of 2020. My host and me, on one of the top floors in Birmingham University.(link is external), Sweden) was an HPC-Europa3 visitor hosted by Dr Silvia Toonen (link is external)at the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy(link is external), University of Birmingham, UK. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Alexey's visit has been split between his time in Birmingham (from 1–23 November), and working remotely from Sweden until 23 December. In this post Alexey tells us about his trip to Birmingham.

I study binary stellar astrophysics at Lund University, Sweden. In Birmingham my host, Dr Silvia Toonen, is one of the leading experts in triple and binary stellar evolution. I arrived at my accommodation in the middle of the autumnal Edgbaston Park area next to Birmingham University, and next morning I met my host. She kindly showed me around the campus and introduced me to her colleagues. The image shows me and my host, on one of the top floors in Birmingham University.  We then launched into many science discussions, which continued in the following weeks, together with meetings, work, calculations and more discussions.

Exploring Fujitsu’s A64FX CPU

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 2 Dec 2020 | 14:20

The release of Fujitsu’s A64FX CPU has been a high point in an otherwise disappointing year. This next-generation CPU is the brain in Fugaku, the supercomputer at RIKEN in Japan, which was number one in the June 2020 TOP500 list.

Since February, Fujitsu has given EPCC access to a development A64FX machine as part of an early-access programme. We have been exploring the performance of this technology applied to numerous HPC workloads.

Extreme-scale precision imaging in radio astronomy

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 2 Dec 2020 | 10:00

EPCC has embarked on a new collaboration with Prof. Yves Wiaux (Heriot-Watt University) to advance algorithms for high-precision and high-sensitivity computational imaging. 

The EIRA (Extreme-Scale Precision Imaging in Radio Astronomy) collaboration will focus on radio astronomy, which uses radio telescopes to collect data. This allows observation of the sky with antennae arrays at otherwise inaccessible angular resolutions and sensitivities. Algorithms being developed at Heriot-Watt University will address the challenges of building images from these incomplete linear data sets.

EuroCC: a new network of national HPC competence centres

Author: Mark Sawyer
Posted: 16 Nov 2020 | 14:07

EuroCC will raise participating countries to a common high level in high-performance computing (HPC), high-performance data analytics (HPDA), and artificial intelligence (AI).

National Competence Centres (NCCs) will be responsible for surveying and documenting the core HPC, HPDA, and AI activities and expertise in each participating country. The ultimate goal is to make HPC available to different users from science, industry, public administration, and society.

Exploring Nekbone on FPGAs at SC20

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 12 Nov 2020 | 16:41

Friday 13 November, 11:05–11:35 am ET

This Friday I am presenting work on accelerating Nekbone on FPGAs at the SC20 H2RC workshop. This is driven by our involvement in the EXCELLERAT CoE, which is looking to port specific engineering codes to future exascale machines.

One technology of interest is that of FPGAs, and a question for us was whether porting the most computationally intensive kernel to FPGAs and enabling the continuing streaming of data could provide performance and/or energy benefits against a modern CPU and GPU. We are focusing on the AX kernel, which applies the Poisson operator, and accounts for approximately 75% of the overall code runtime.

EPCC passes ISO 27001 Information Security and ISO 9001 Quality audits

Author: Anne Whiting
Posted: 11 Nov 2020 | 10:51

I am delighted to announce that EPCC has passed our annual external ISO 27001 Information Security and ISO 9001 Quality audits with flying colours. 

EPCC recognises the importance of a process-led approach to the delivery of National Tier-1 and Tier-2 services such as ARCHER, ARCHER2 and Cirrus. The implementation of an ISO 9001-based Quality Management Systems has provided a framework to ensure that the services delivered meet user and customer requirements. It requires that service improvements are identified and the impacts of their implementation tracked, ensuring that the improvement is effective.

UrgentHPC20 workshop at SC: Fighting disasters with urgent computing

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 10 Nov 2020 | 09:44

Join the workshop: Friday 13 November, 2:30pm–6:30pm ET

At SC20 this year we are chairing UrgentHPC, the second international workshop on the use of HPC for urgent decision making. The idea of the workshop is to explore the fusion of HPC, big data, and other technologies in responding to disasters such as global pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, extreme flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, winter weather conditions, and accidents. Whilst HPC has a long history of simulating disasters, we believe that technological advances are creating exciting new opportunities to support emergency, urgent, decision making in real-time.

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