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HPC in Europe and its value chain

12 December 2013 by Jean-François LAVIGNON, Bull - ETP4HPC Chair and Jean-Philippe NOMINE, CEA - ETP4HPC Office

HPC is strategic for research, industry, the economy and our society as a whole. The European Commission formally set out this vision in its February 2012 communication, and following this the Competitiveness Council reaffirmed its willingness to launch a dedicated program on 30 May 2013.

The aim of this program is for the Old Continent to strengthen its position as a major player in the use of HPC, and to use this position to improve its industrial competitiveness and scientific leadership. Europe has all the necessary expertise to design and develop supercomputers and software at the highest level in the world. So it is possible to put in place a comprehensive, sustainable and competitive ecosystem, within the European Union, around HPC technologies.

This ecosystem could be set up by locating its three main cornerstones along a value chain that links technologies to their uses.

1.    Based on this vision, ETP4HPC’s role is to encourage the development of the necessary HPC technologies in Europe, on a spectrum spans from hardware components to software tools, and to stimulate the development of complementary services, including access to computing resources, code optimization, etc. By doing this, ETP4HPC embodies the technology providers’ response to the expectations and ambitions of the European Commission.

2.    The second cornerstone of the value chain consists of bodies such as the pan-European computing infrastructure PRACE, and institutional and private computing centers who use and implement HPC technologies (providing access to computing resources, associated services…).

3.    The third cornerstone – Applications and usages – brings together all kinds of users from the worlds of research and industry, for whom computer simulation and HPC represent increasingly indispensable tools. In order to effectively fulfill its role, ETP4HPC has already built up the necessary links with other players and initiatives evolving within this ecosystem. This applies, in particular, to the European Exascale Software Initiative (EESI), which is proposing a roadmap to transform applications to operate at the exascale level by the end of the current decade. It also includes a representative majority of industrial HPC users and computer simulation software vendors.


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Source: HPCmagazine

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