What is PDC?
The PDC Center for High Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology is the leading provider of high performance computing (HPC) services for academic research in Sweden. PDC is located centrally in Stockholm under the auspices of the KTH School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). PDC’s services are made available to Swedish and European researchers, respectively via the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) and PRACE. PDC also provides its services to the commercial sector via collaborative projects. The main HPC system at PDC is Beskow, a Cray XC40 with a peak performance of nearly 2.5 petaflops.
PDC was founded in 1990, to provide HPC computing and storage resources, together with advanced system and application support, to Swedish academic researchers, particularly in the Stockholm region. Since then, PDC has grown to be one of Sweden’s major national supercomputing centres, and is involved with a range of national and international projects and research centres.
As a centre serving the Stockholm region, PDC collaborates closely with the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University and other schools and divisions at KTH, although about half of PDC’s usage is generated by researchers elsewhere in Sweden or Europe via SNIC. PDC’s facilities are also used for some commercial research (for example, by Scania). To support European industry and innovation through the use of HPC, PDC offers both commercial and open-source software suitable for use in many different industry segments.
PDC’s activities are funded primarily by the Swedish Research Council (VR) through SNIC, and by KTH, with additional support from various Scandinavian and European HPC research projects.
HPC services at PDC
During 2014 and 2015, the PDC supercomputers were updated so the current main HPC systems at PDC are Beskow (a Cray XC40) and Tegner (a pre-and post-processing system for Beskow). The capacity of Beskow was expanded in 2017 in relation to increased research
collaboration with Scania.
PDC also provides storage and data management services, including facilities for long-term archiving. Additionally PDC offers expert support for application tuning and scaling in a number of disciplines, including fluid dynamics, molecular dynamics, computational chemistry, bioinformatics, and neuroinformatics.
Education and training at PDC
PDC offers a comprehensive education and training program with the flagship being the PDC summer school. Held annually, the school offers an introduction to high performance computing for local and international students and researchers (both from academia and also the commercial sector). PDC also runs an ongoing programme of seminars on topics of interest for HPC, with invited speakers from all over the world. Staff from PDC are involved with various HPC courses that are offered at KTH and at other Swedish academic institutions. PDC also contributes computing resources for many university courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Projects PDC participates in
PDC is an active member of the major European HPC infrastructure projects (notably PRACE, HPC-Europa3, EOSC-Hub, EOSC-Nordic and NeIC) and is heavily involved in exascale research projects, such as the PDC-led BioExcel Centre of Excellence for Biomolecular Research and the EXCELLERAT Centre of Excellence for Engineering Applications, as well as the EPiGRAM-HS project. PDC also collaborates on many other related projects such as VESTEC, Sage2 and the Human Brain Project. Additionally PDC supports a wide variety of researchers from KTH and elsewhere in their research projects by providing HPC resources and expertise. In this capacity, PDC takes part in several projects at a national level (for example, through the Swedish e-Science Research Centre or SeRC, and the Swedish Research Council or VR), and also at the international level (for example, in relation to the European Commission and Nordforsk).
Lennart Johnsson - Department of Computer Science, University of Houston
Gunnar Landgren - Advisor to the President, KTH
Jens Zander - Head, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, KTH
Philipp Schlatter - Department of Mechanics, School of Engineering Sciences, KTH
Patrick Norman - Division of Theoretical Chemistry and Biology, School of Biotechnology, KTH
Thorsten Mauritsen - Department of Meteorology and Bolin Center for Climate Research, SU
Per Kraulis - SciLifeLab
Matts Karlsson - Director, NSC, Linköping University