Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 EDGI (European Desktop Grid Initiative)

Partners: SZTAKI insitute (Hungary), CIEMAT (Spain), Univ. Coimbra (Portugal), Univ Cardi (UK), Univ Westminster (UK), AlmereGrid (NL), IN2P3 (FR), Inria (GRAAL, MESCAL)

Years: 2010-2012

EDGI is an FP7 European project whose goal is to build a Grid infrastructure composed of "Desktop Grids", such as BOINC or XtremWeb, where computing resources are provided by Internet volunteers, and "Service Grids", where computing resources are provided by institutional Grid such as EGEE, gLite, Unicore and "Clouds systems" such asOpenNebula and Eucalyptus, where resources are provided on-demand. The EDGI infrastructure will consist of Service Grids that are extended with public and institutional Desktop Grids and Clouds.

FP7 Mont-Blanc project: European scalable and power efficient HPC platform based on low-power embedded technology

FP7 Programme: ICT-2011.9.13 Exa-scale computing, software and simulation

Mont-Blanc Partners: BSC (Barcelone), Bull, ARM (UK), Julich (Germany), Genci, CINECA (Italy), CNRS (LIRMM, LIG)

Duration: 3 Years from 1/10/2011

There is a continued need for higher compute performance: scientific grand challenges, engineering, geophysics, bioinformatics, etc. However, energy is increasingly becoming one of the most expensive resources and the dominant cost item for running a large supercomputing facility. In fact, the total energy cost of a few years of operation can almost equal the cost of the hardware infrastructure. Energy efficiency is already a primary concern for the design of any computer system and it is unanimously recognized that Exascale systems will be strongly constrained by power.

The analysis of the performance of HPC systems since 1993 shows exponential improvements at the rate of one order of magnitude every 3 years: One petaflops was achieved in 2008, one exaflops is expected in 2020. Based on a 20 MW power budget, this requires an efficiency of 50 GFLOPS/Watt. However, the current leader in energy efficiency achieves only 1.7n GFLOPS/Watt. Thus, a 30x improvement is required.

In this project, the partners believe that HPC systems developed from today's energy-efficient solutions used in embedded and mobile devices are the most likely to succeed. As of today, the CPUs of these devices are mostly designed by ARM. However, ARM processors have not been designed for HPC, and ARM chips have never used in HPC systems before, leading to a number of significant challenges.

HPC-GA project: High Performance Computing for Geophysics Applications

FP7 programme: Marie Curie Actions, International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES)

Partners: Inria (Grenoble, Bordeaux, Pau), BCAM (Bilbao), UFRGS (Brazil), UNAM (Mexico), BRGM (France), UJF (France)

Duration: 3 years from 1/1/2012

PI: Inria (Grenoble and Bordeaux)

Simulating large-scale geophysics phenomenon represents, more than ever, a major concern for our society. Recent seismic activity worldwide has shown how crucial it is to enhance our understanding of the impact of earthquakes. Numerical modeling of seismic 3D waves obviously requires highly specific research efforts in geophysics and applied mathematics, leveraging a mix of various schemes such as spectral elements, high-order finite differences or finite elements. But designing and porting geophysics applications on top of nowadays supercomputers also requires a strong expertise in parallel programming and the use of appropriate runtime systems able to efficiently deal with heterogeneous architectures featuring many-core nodes typically equipped with GPU accelerators. The HPC-GA project aims at evaluating the functionalities provided by current runtime systems in order to point out their limitations. It also aims at designing new methods and mechanisms for an efficient scheduling of processes/threads and a clever data distribution on such platforms.

Collaborations in European Programs, except FP7

  • ESPON :

The MESCAL project-team participates to the ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) http://www.espon.lu/ It is involved in the action 3.1 on tools for analysis of socio-economical data. This work is done in the consortium hypercarte including the laboratories LIG, Géographie-cité (UMR 8504) and RIATE (UMS 2414). The Hyperatlas tools have been applied to the European context in order to study spatial deviation indexes on demographic and sociological data at nuts 3 level.

  • European Exascale Software Initiative (EESI)

The objective of this Support Action, co-funded by the European Commission is to build a European vision and road-map to address the challenges of the new generation of massively parallel systems composed of millions of heterogeneous cores which will provide Petaflop performances in 2010 and Exaflop performances in 2020 (the speed of a supercomputer is measured in "FLOPS" (FLoating Point Operations Per Second)), "Petascale" supercomputers can process one quadrillion (1015) (1000 trillion) FLOPS, Exascale is computing performance is one quintillion (1018) FLOPS (one million teraflops) http://www.eesi-project.eu/pages/menu/homepage.php .