The road map towards exascale is shaping up with the formation of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking which, after a record- breaking time of only seven months, was created by the European Commission and started operating in autumn 2018. EuroHPC is now responsible for building the European exascale infrastructure and supporting related research on exascale technologies. The first milestone for EuroHPC will be the procurement of two pre-exascale systems by 2020, which should pave the way towards European exascale systems by 2023. As time is short, the hosting entity for the pre-exascale systems will be selected in early 2019 and the procurement process will start soon after that. Almost all European countries are supportive of EuroHPC however, although Sweden has a clear ambition to contribute to the undertaking, the current political situation unfortunately means that the necessary governmental decisions cannot be made as yet. We hope that the situation will be clarified soon so that Sweden will become a full member of EuroHPC in the near future.
From the beginning, PDC has been at the forefront of the European exascale developments and has worked with different user groups to make Sweden ready for the rapidly approaching exascale era. With engineering being a key sector in Sweden, and Swedish research in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) being world leading, we have helped to push CFD towards exascale through the ExaFLOW project. After a three-year-long journey, ExaFLOW had an excellent final review and showcased its developments in three flagship runs. You can read about the details in this newsletter.
Another important effort is the BioExcel Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research. This European flagship project is also finishing its first period and has already secured funding for a second three-year period starting in 2019. Read more about the achievements and plans in our cover article.
PDC’s participation in other activities related to high performance computing is continuing too, particularly the Nordic CodeRefinery project and the European HPC-Europa3 initiative. Short updates on these can be found in this newsletter.
Earlier this year we conducted a broad PDC user survey – I hope you participated in it! Overall the results were very encouraging and showed that our efforts to improve our user services over the past couple of years have been recognized and appreciated by our users. Of course, this does not mean that we will rest on our laurels; as always, we will continue striving to improve even more. One of our very recent improvements features a new way of interacting with you – the PDC Blog. Go to www.kth.se/blogs/pdc and check out tips and tricks for using PDC resources.
I hope this newsletter and the PDC Blog give you an interesting read for the coming holiday season, and I and all of the PDC staff wish you “God Jul och Gott Nytt År”!
Erwin Laure, Director PDC