EPCC News 85: Time to consolidate parallel programming technologies?

Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of EPCC News.

We have now settled into our new offices at the Bayes Centre in central Edinburgh and, as I hope we show in this newsletter, EPCC is going from strength to strength. We have been increasing in size for the past year and now have almost 110 staff. It’s a great pleasure to see lots of new faces – many starting their careers in supercomputing and data science at EPCC.

As previous issues have demonstrated, EPCC has always had a very successful programme of European Commission research and innovation projects. Although much is changing in this regard, we have continued to bid successfully for Horizon 2020 funding and a number of new projects have recently started. While EPCC has never been busier – we were running 106 concurrent projects in April – we do hope that the final BREXIT arrangements will allow us to continue working with our many collaborators in the European Union. Supercomputing is an international activity.

We are very pleased that the ARCHER 2 procurement programme has now properly started and that we have been chosen to host the system (see p9). We expect it to “go live” around May 2020. However, we’re already working on successor systems – a number of Exascale supercomputing investments have been announced worldwide and, as a major industrialised nation, the UK must continue to invest. There is a lot of convergence between traditional supercomputing and artificial intelligence at the moment which we’ll report on in a future issue. I hope you enjoy this one.

Mark Parsons, EPCC Director

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Tracy Peet
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