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The PRACE-2IP project enters a new phase

PRACE's second implementation phase (2IP) project started on October 1st, 2011, after the selection process of relevant codes. The ETSF's free software is being targeted by the materials science service of PRACE 2IP. In particular, work will be done on ABINIT, with its plane-wave part and its wavelet part (BigDFT), EXCITING, Octopus, and Yambo. Professors Xavier Gonze of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Angel Rubio of the University of the Basque Country, Claudia Draxl of the University of Leoben, and Andrea Marini of the Istituto di Struttura della Materia, are supporting the efforts from the ETSF side.

Within the Materials Science theme, performance tests and code analyses have been performed, culminating in the meeting in Barcelona, between PRACE representatives and code developers, on 2 and 3 February 2012. The Quantum Espresso and SIESTA developer communities were represented alongside the ETSF at the meeting.

The first day was dedicated to an overview of the 5 represented broad themes (material science, climatology, nuclear physics -QCD, astrophysics, and engineering). During the second day, the subgroups met. The meeting of the subgroup for material science was dedicated to the presentation of benchmark results and discussion of common problems. To go beyond MPI (for hybrid architectures, like CPU-GPU, or the use of many-core CPUs), a trade-off between the different types of parallelism is necessary. Amongst other ideas, ABINIT developers proposed an investigation of automatic procedures to find thresholds for optimized performance on different machines with more than 10, 000 compute units. Over the next fourteen months, research involving frequent contact between PRACE computer scientists and ETSF code developers will continue.


The mission of the PRACE (Partnership for advanced computing in Europe) RI is to enable high impact European scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. The PRACE RI Project's purpose is to provide a sustainable high-quality infrastructure for Europe that can meet the most demanding needs of European HPC user communities through the provision of user access to the most powerful HPC systems available worldwide at any given time. In tandem with access to Tier-0 systems, the PRACE-2IP project will foster the coordination between national HPC resources (Tier-1 systems) to best meet the needs of the European HPC user community. To ensure that European scientific and engineering communities have access to leading edge supercomputers in the future, the PRACE-2IP project evaluates novel architectures, technologies, systems, and software. Optimizing and scaling of application for Tier-0 and Tier-1 systems is a core service of PRACE.