Starting HPC-FF and two other new supercomputers at Forschungszentrum Jülich: Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof. Dr. Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich and Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister for Education and Research (from left to right). (Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich)

After its inauguration on 26th May HPC-FF, the 100 teraflop/s High Performance Computer for Fusion, started operating on 5th August at the Supercomputer Centre (JSC) of Forschungszentrum Jülich. It is now available to Associations and to selected projects. Association users and project members that have not yet applied for user accounts on HPC-FF can do so online at the centre’s webpage. JSC also conducts training courses on how to program and use the supercomputing resources.

Over the next four years, HPC-FF will be funded and employed within the framework of the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA). The supercomputer is operated by Forschungszentrum Jülich and the resources and optimal use are managed by the HPC Board. The Board is nominated every two years by the EFDA Steering Committee and is currently chaired by Prof. Dr. Sibylle Günter from Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP). The HPC Board secretary, Dr. Roman Zagórski, represents the EFDA Leader. Among other things, the HPC Board defines the terms of access to HPC-FF and sets guidelines regarding the allocation of CPU time and disk storage space. The Board also supports fusion scientists in preparing for the petaflop computer generation that is coming.

At the same time, the High Level Support Team (HLST), an expert group for high-level computations in fusion research, supports scientists in making their computation codes suitable for processing on supercomputers. Supercomputers do not operate in the same way as “normal” computers. In order to be able to handle 100 trillion computation steps in one second, they use tens of thousands of processors simultaneously. The computation codes of plasma scientists are not immediately suited to such “massively parallel systems”. Therefore, the HLST specialists tailor the programming precisely to the computing capacity allocated. HLST comprises a core team at IPP Garching and members in other Associations. It is coordinated by the HPC Board Secretary from EFDA and led by Dr. Roman Hatzky from Rechenzentrum Garching. The HPC Board selects members of the HLST and allocates projects to the team.

Thanks to Isabella Milch from IPP, Ralph Schorn from FZ Jülich and Roman Zagórski from EFDA for their inputs.

Webpage of HLST:

Webpage of JSC:

Information on the JSC training course: