Innovatives Supercomputing in Deutschland
inSiDE • Vol. 8 No. 2 • Autumn 2010
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PRACE Early Access Projects

Since 1 August 2010, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) offers supercomputer resources on the highest level (Tier-0) to European researchers. The German partner in PRACE is the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) - the alliance of the three national supercomputing centres in Garching (LRZ), Jülich (JSC) and Stuttgart (HLRS). Jülich, as a member of GCS and involved in shaping PRACE as well as hosting the only European Tier-0 supercomputer currently available, is dedicating a 35% share of the IBM Blue Gene/P system JUGENE to PRACE within the framework of its commitments. This first Petascale HPC system available to researchers through PRACE is the fastest computer in Europe available for public research.

Proposals for the first PRACE projects on JUGENE were solicited in an early access call, released by PRACE on 10 May 2010 with the deadline 10 June 2010. Emphasis was put on projects that could start immediately with no or only little preparation and that would be able to achieve significant scientific results within an initial grant period of four months. The comparative international peer reviewing process was headed by Prof. Richard Kenway, EPCC.

After scientific evaluation and prioritization, ten out of 65 proposals were accepted in this very competitive process, five from Germany, two from the UK, and one each from Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal. These projects, two each from the fields of Astrophysics, Engineering and Energy, and from Fundamental Physics, and one each from the fields of Chemistry and Materials, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and from Mathematics and Computer Science, were awarded a total of about 320 million compute core hours. More details on these projects can be found via the PRACE homepage.

From now on PRACE calls for Tier-0 computing time grants will be issued twice every year, the project starting dates being 1 May and 1 November of the year with the respective submission deadlines about 3 months earlier.

• Walter Nadler
Jülich Supercomputing Centre

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