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Ties That Bind: Organizing Large-Scale HPC in the European Union


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The European Union (EU) is making a substantial investment in pan-European resources in an effort to place its members on the cutting edge of the computational space. "Supercomputers are the 'cathedrals' of modern science, essential tools to push forward the frontiers of research at the service of Europe's prosperity and growth," says EU commissioner Viviane Reding. However, it is not easy or inexpensive to construct a large-scale supercomputing infrastructure to support research and industrial goals. Still, it is hoped that the EU's collective resources may make it possible for a strong high-performance computing (HPC) player to enter an arena currently dominated by the United States and Japan.

The EU and individual member states acting in tandem have vowed to establish a supranational supercomputing infrastructure, and the Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications (DEISA) consortium is a key nexus of the EU's HPC effort. DEISA's Hermann Lederer describes the infrastructure as "a European counterpart of [the U.S. National Science Foundation-funded] TeraGrid." DEISA partners are linked to users and each other through the TransEurasia Information Network and the National Research and Education Networks, while the DEISA Extreme Computing Initiative encourages researchers to greatly increase their understanding of vital research issues.

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe is a vehicle through which the EU and European HPC leaders hope to further expand their investment in global computational leadership by setting up three to five "tier 0" facilities with petascale capacity to focus on broader EU science and industrial research objectives.

From HPC Wire
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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