27 May 2011 Brussels - The most powerful supercomputers in Europe are offered to European researchers in academia and industry, as the PRACE Research Infrastructure launched the third call for access to its resources on May 2nd, 2011. In this call, a total of 3 Tier-0 supercomputers at the highest performance level are available for applicants plus 17 national Tier-1 systems, via a synchronized DECI call.
Only one year ago, at the end of a successful EC-funded preparatory phase project, PRACE was created as one of the first Research Infrastructures listed on the ESFRI roadmap and started to provide high-end (Tier-0) supercomputer resources and services to the European scientific communities. Since then, it has managed to increase the aggregated capability of its Tier-0 systems by more than a factor of 3. In addition to the access to Europe's fastest supercomputers, PRACE offers also support for the preparation and optimisation of applications. This important element of the PRACE offer is supported through EC-funded implementation phase projects.
The latest Tier-0 system, "HERMIT" is available for researchers in this call for the first time. HERMIT is a Cray XE6 system, and will be installed in fall 2011 at the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) partner HLRS (High Performance Center of University Stuttgart) and has a current peak performance of 1 Petaflop/s. This first installation step is to be followed by a 4-5 Petaflop/s second step in 2013.
Also, the 1 Petaflop/s IBM BlueGene/P system, JUGENE, hosted by the GCS partner Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), Germany and the Bull Bullx cluster CURIE hosted by GENCI partner CEA at Bruyères-Le-Châtel, France are available for European reseachers in the third PRACE call. CURIE will reach peak performance over 1.6 Petaflop/s in its second installation phase in October 2011. The phase 1 system has been available for PRACE since January 2011.
Seventeen different Tier-1 systems are also available for European researchers in this call. This is the first time the European Tier-1 resources are available for use through a PRACE call. The Tier-1 resources were previously provided by DEISA - Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications - in so called DECI calls, now part of PRACE.
The Tier-1 systems provided by the PRACE RI are the following:
Eight clusters at FZJ (Germany, Bull Nehalem cluster), LRZ (Germany, Xeon cluster), HLRS (Germany, NEC Nehalem cluster plus GP/GPU cluster), CINES (France, SGI ICE 8200), BSC (Spain, IBM PowerPC), CINECA (Italy, Westmere plus GP/GPU cluster), PSNC (Poland, Bullx plus GP/GPU cluster and HP cluster) and ICHEC (Ireland, SGI ICE 8200).
Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes stated: "PRACE is proving to be the European supercomputer infrastructure. PRACE is a key driver for the development of European science and technology and provides vital support to researchers addressing the major challenges of our time like climate change, energy saving and the ageing population."
PRACE Council Chair Achim Bachem stated: "PRACE is now opening a call every six months. In the last year the calls awarded already more than 27 European proposals with needs of Tier-0 capabilities with more than a billion core hours. In this call, HERMIT the new HPC system at Gauss Centre in Stuttgart, will be available to users and the co-ordination and interoperation of PRACE with Tier-1 is initiated with the Pilot Call for the national systems."
The third call closes on 22 June, 2011, to be followed by other regular calls. There is also a continuous preparatory access call for the PRACE RI Tier-0 resources.
The PRACE RI will be boosted by an IBM 3 Petaflop/s Tier-0 system called "SuperMUC" by the GCS partner LRZ (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Munich), available in mid 2012. Further Tier-0 installments to the PRACE RI will be procured in Italy and Spain.
More information about PRACE calls and application forms are available at www.prace-ri.eu/hpc-access .