HPC research

From HPC-Europa3 to Huawei Programming Languages Research Laboratory

Author: Catherine Inglis
Posted: 9 Sep 2021 | 16:45

Marcos Maroñas was an HPC-Europa3 visitor in 2019, when he was a PhD student at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). Marcos has now completed his PhD and recently relocated to Edinburgh – in the middle of the pandemic – to take up a new job. Here Marcos tells us how his career has developed.

Marcos Maroñas with view of Edinburgh behind

FPGAs for HPC, but this time it’s different

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 10 Aug 2021 | 10:05

For over a decade our community has enjoyed significant performance benefits by leveraging heterogeneous supercomputers. Whilst GPUs are the most common form of accelerator there are also other hardware technologies which can be complementary. 

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) enable developers to directly configure the chip, effectively enabling their application to run at the electronics level. There are potential performance and power benefits to tailoring code execution and avoiding the general purpose architecture imposed by CPUs and GPUs, and as such FPGAs have been popular in embedded computing for many years but have not yet enjoyed any level of uptake in HPC.

PRACE Summer of HPC 2021

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 3 Aug 2021 | 16:51

EPCC is once again participating in the PRACE Summer of HPC (SoHPC) 2021 but, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent curtailment in travel, things are being run slightly differently this year.

It was apparent from the start that travel would not be possible, and so this PRACE SoHPC for 2021 became a virtual event. Regrettably, this means that students do not get to travel to meet other programme participants either during the training week or at the hosting site. However two students instead of the usual one have been allocated to each project, which includes the aspect of remotely working in a team.

Quantum computing at EPCC

Author: Oliver Brown
Posted: 23 Jun 2021 | 09:15

Computing doesn’t come much more novel than quantum computing. 

Classical computers rely on the manipulation of bits, physical systems (usually transistors) that can be found in one of two states, which we label 0 and 1. Quantum computers on the other hand, use quantum bits (qubits) which can be measured in one of two physical states, still labelled 0 and 1, but can exist in any linear superposition of the two – they can be in 0 and 1.

Such a fundamental change at such a low level means that programming a quantum computer, or even developing quantum algorithms is very different to what we’re used to. 

EuroCC@UK: promoting excellence in HPC, HPDA and AI

Author: Mark Sawyer
Posted: 7 Jun 2021 | 10:05

The European Commission has launched a network of National Centres of Excellence in High-Performance Computing (HPC), High-Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The UK centre will be delivered jointly by EPCC and the Hartree Centre.

Software use on ARCHER2 - an initial look

Author: Andy Turner
Posted: 24 May 2021 | 11:11

Back in February, I reviewed the usage of different research software on ARCHER over a large period of its life. Now we have just come to the end of the first month of charged use on the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system I thought it would be interesting to have an initial look at how people are using the new system in terms of research software use and job sizes.

Novel ammonia-hydrogen sulphide mixtures under extreme conditions: Implications for Ice-giant planets

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 12 Feb 2021 | 13:14

Sudip Kumar Mondal from Jadavpur University in Kolkata visited the University of Edinburgh through the HPC-Europa3 Transnational Access programme. Falling from 11 October to 29 January, Sudip's visit was unlike most others because the Covid pandemic was ongoing. In this blog post Sudip describes his experiences in coming to and working in Edinburgh.

My doctoral research focuses on the physical behaviour of naturally occurring mineral phases at high temperature and pressure conditions by employing quantum chemical simulations which are hard to realize through experiments at the laboratory. Dr Andreas Hermann, my supervisor at the University of Edinburgh, was undoubtedly perfect for supervising this project, being an expert on materials at extreme conditions.

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.

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.

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.

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