Exascale Computing ALgorithms & Infrastructures Benefiting UK Research (ExCALIBUR)

ExCALIBUR is a £45.7m UK research programme that aims to deliver the next generation of high-performance simulation software for the highest priority fields in UK research. 


To continue to make scientific advances on some of the most challenging physical problems facing the world today, it is essential that the UK fully harnesses the power of the world’s most powerful supercomputers as we move into the Exascale era and beyond. However, this cannot be achieved without appropriate software: existing simulation codes will not perform effectively on the next generation of supercomputers. The ExCALIBUR programme will address this challenge by redesigning high priority computer codes and algorithms. 

EPCC has funding from this programme to explore a range of topics. Some current and recent projects are described below.

Cross Domain Specific Languages (xDSL)

A collaboration between the University of Edinburgh (the School of Informatics and EPCC), and Imperial College London, the xDSL project aims to revolutionise Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) by developing a common ecosystem that these technologies can adopt. Currently DSL implementations are highly siloed which often results in significant development efforts, a lack of third party tooling, immature technology stacks, and uncertain long term support. By making MLIR easily available to DSL developers via a toolbox, this project will enable DSLs to be provided as a thin layer on-top of the mature and well supported LLVM compilation stack. See https://xdsl.dev for more details.


ExcaliburML is a three-year collaboration between EPCC and the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh with funding of over £576,000. The aim of the project is the development of an adaptor interface SiMLInt (Simulation and Machine Learning Integration) to allow the outsourcing of suitable, computationally expensive parts of simulation codes, traditionally written in C/C++ or Fortran, and replacing them by approximations from trained ML networks.


ELEMENT addresses the high priority use case of meshing for the Exascale (ensuring that meshes are of sufficient quality to represent Exascale problems and can be partitioned efficiently to minimise load imbalance) as well as meshing at the Exascale (creating highly scalable solutions able to exploit extreme levels of parallelism). The project is led by EPCC. ELEMENT project website

FPGA testbed

EPCC hosts this new FPGA testbed and runs it in collaboration with University College London and the University of Warwick. The system is available for developers to experiment with novel hardware for their workloads to enable them to understand the role that these technologies might play in future Exascale machines. FPGA testbed website

Materials and Molecular Modelling Exascale Design and Development

This project brings together research software engineers and experts from mathematics and computer science with domain experts in Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) to ensure this key research area is ready to exploit future Exascale computing resources. The project is led by University College London with EPCC among the co-leaders.

EXALAT: Lattice Field Theory at the Exascale Frontier

EXALAT is a collaboration led by the University of Edinburgh, with total funding of £365k to build on the recognised expertise in the Lattice Field Theory (LFT) community to use high-end computing to inform and upskill the wider scientific ecosystem for Exascale computing. Exalat website

Project details