May 31, 2010
HAMBURG, May 31 -- On the first day of this year's International Supercomputing Conference (ISC'10), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Intel and ParTec have signed a multi-year agreement to create the ExaCluster Laboratory at Jülich. The new lab will be a private/public collaboration and will explore the key challenges of building computing systems with a thousand times the performance of today's fastest supercomputers.
The ExaCluster Laboratory will initially employ about a dozen researchers and is expected to approximately triple its employment over time.
"The Forschungszentrum Jülich has taken a leading role in driving high-performance computing research in Europe," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter Group. "We have chosen to work with Forschungszentrum Jülich and the ParTec Cluster Competence GmbH, because of their strong history of innovation in the area of high-performance computing."
The ExaCluster Laboratory will conduct research into current challenges in systems management software for large heterogeneous supercomputer systems, with a view to scaling this software to reach exaFLOPS performance. This will include research on open exascale runtime system software, software tools and simulation software. The term exaFLOPS describes the processing of 1 trillion -- or 1 million million million -- instructions per second. Supercomputers working at that speed are referred to as "exascale" systems.
An example of a "grand challenge" problem for exascale systems is understanding extremely complex health care and biochemical phenomena such as detailed whole organ modelling or precise prediction of tumor behavior. Performing such complex simulations requires the analysis of very large data sets. These computations will need multi-petaFLOP and exaFLOP compute performance if they are to be completed in reasonable time-frames. The value of solving such grand challenge problems and the need for exascale computing power is widely recognized by the scientific computing community. The ExaCluster Laboratory's will closely work with the European HPC community and it is expected to push the boundaries of computing to deliver exaFLOPS capable supercomputers.
"Science and industry increasingly rely and profit from simulations on computers of the highest performance class," explained Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Lippert, director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre.
"We are proud that ParTec GmbH was chosen by Intel and the Forschungszentrum Jülich to contribute to the ExaCluster Laboratory," said Hugo R. Falter, chief operating officer of ParTec Cluster Competence Center, GmbH.
ParTec Cluster Competence Center GmbH is specialized in the development and support of a comprehensive suite of cluster management tools and a runtime environment specifically tuned for the largest distributed memory supercomputers in existence today. ParaStation V5, an in-house developed, open-source cluster software stack provides a parallel environment for Linux clusters that provides our customers with the reliability, high availability and utilization levels they demand as they strive to meet their research goals whilst remaining within their power budgets. ParTec provides vendor-independent consultancy for a broad range of cluster technologies and forms long standing customer relationships buy offering comprehensive support services in both remote and on-site scenarios. Our approach ensures rapid deployment cycles and seamless interoperability of software components. ParTec is member of major European and worldwide research consortia (e.g. PROSPECT, PRACE, D-GRID, Unicore etc.) to further contribute to the development of exaFLOPS architectures of general purpose supercomputers towards the end of this decade. The headquarter of ParTec is located in Munich, Germany.
Source: ParTec Cluster Competence Center GmbH
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