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GCS at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) 2015 in Frankfurt/Main (July 12-16, 2015)

Summary of Events

The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) has supported this year’s International Supercomputing Conference, which for the first time took place in Frankfurt/Main from July 12-16, 2015, beyond usual dimensions. Scientific Chair of the 2015 conference was Prof. Dr. Arndt Bode of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), who thus had significantly expanded his involvement in the international supercomputing event. Like Prof. Bode, the directors of the other two GCS member centres, Prof. Dr. Thomas Lippert of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael M. Resch of the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) have been members of the ISC steering committee for years.

The 2015 edition of ISC has proven again to be the number one event in Supercomputing outside the United States of America as it has seen an extremely positive feedback by the scientific and the HPC community.

GCS in the Exhibition Hall

As in the previous years, the GCS hosted a joint booth in the exhibition leg of the convention. The open and inviting concept of the 64 m2 large GCS booth again worked perfectly well as it encouraged ISC visitors to stop by and interexchange with the GCS representatives on site. Countless like-minded HPC users, researchers, scientists, IT-decision makers, technology leaders as well as high-tech journalists visited the GCS booth to meet and talk with the directors of the three GCS centres Arndt Bode (LRZ), Thomas Lippert (JSC), Michael M. Resch (HLRS), the GCS managing director Claus Axel Müller, and with the available representatives of the three GCS centres.

The GCS booth at ISC'15 The GCS booth at ISC'15. © GCS

GCS Exhibition Highlights

HLRS presented at this year’s ISC a true show stopper: the Augmented Reality demonstration of the air flow around a Porsche sports car, which was presented at ISC’s CAE pavilion focussing on Computer Aided Engineering in the Automotive Industry, enjoyed a great amount of attention. Additionally, on the GCS booth interested parties were able to receive information e.g. about the so-called XXL Projects on Hornet, which are large scale simulation projects that challenged the endurance of the HLRS HPC system by testing the readiness of its hardware and software for extreme-scale compute jobs. HLRS also offered 3D visualizations on a tiled 3D display wall. The highlight was the interactive remote visualization of the water flow in a pump turbine simulated by the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Machinery of the University of Stuttgart.

Presentation of the air flow around a Porsche sports car: AR demonstration by Uwe Wössner (HLRS)Presentation of the air flow around a Porsche sports car: AR demonstration by Uwe Wössner of the HLRS. © HLRS

JSC presented a wide spectrum of in-house developed software for supercomputers such as LLview, the comprehensive interactive monitoring software for HPC systems, demonstrating live the operation of various supercomputers worldwide. In addition, JSC also showed the LLview monitoring components of the Eclipse PTP development environment for supercomputing applications. The presentations were completed by a selection of scientific results obtained with the JSC supercomputers, ranging from neuroscience to climate and universe science, exhibited in 2D presentation videos and animations.

LRZ focused on highlighting their HPC system SuperMUC Phase 1 and Phase 2 and presented current science and research projects in 2D-videos. As a special exhibit on the GCS booth, LRZ featured the latest adsorption chiller machine. This exhibit further highlighted LRZ's unrelenting efforts with regards to energy efficiency in supercomputer centres where the reduction of energy consumption and the possible reuse of waste heat are unabated important issues.

ISC Conference - Workshops, Sessions, Tutorials…

Panel: Significance of HPC in the Automotive IndustryMichael M. Resch of HLRS (right) moderating the session “Significance of HPC in the Automotive Industry”. © iscevents

Apart from presenting GCS activities in the ISC exhibition part of the conference, GCS contributed to the international HPC convention with a large number of talks and presentations in various tutorials, conference sessions and workshops. In total, GCS representatives held roles as hosts, moderators, and/or speakers in more than 30 events of the ISC conference, ranging from speaking parts in the ISC Opening Session to Key Note Speeches in theme related conference tracks to Research Papers- and Birds-of-a-Feather sessions. Additionally, representatives of the GCS centres supported activities of GCS partners and/or related HPC initiatives, such as by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), European Exascale Projects (Cresta, Deep/-Er, Mont-Blanc) the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA), the UNICORE Forum, and others.

GCS also participated in the newly created ISC Workshop Day on Thursday, July 16. Under leadership of Michael M. Resch, GCS hosted a half-day session on the subject Germany's Path to Exascale & Extreme Scale Computing, which covered the following related topics:

  • GCS – A Strategic Partnership for German HPC
    (Michael M. Resch, HLRS)
  • Application Oriented HPC Software Initiatives, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF
    (Wolfgang Nagel, Director of the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH) and Professor of Computer Architecture at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Technische Universität Dresden)
  • The Gauss Alliance - An Association of German Tier-2/3 HPC Centers
    (Thomas Ludwig, Director of the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) and Professor at the Universität Hamburg, Department of Informatics, Scientific Computing)
  • SPPEXA - DFG's Nation-wide Priority Program on Exascale Computing
    (Hans-Joachim Bungartz, Chair of Scientific Computing, Informatics Department, Technische Universität München)

GCS hosted a workshop at ISC'15 with the title: Germany's Path to Exascale & Extreme Scale ComputingWolfgang Nagel (TU Dresden) presenting at the workshop “Germany's Path to Exascale & Extreme Scale Computing”. © GCS

As a speaker at the conference’s track “Use Case for Special Applications”, a GCS customer elaborated on the benefits of using HPC in industry related research activities. Wolfgang Schröder of the Institute of Aerodynamics at the RWTH Aachen University introduced one of the Hornet XXL showcase projects completed on the HLRS supercomputer earlier this year. To the interested HPC audience, he explained the motivation, the challenge, and the results achieved within the project “Prediction of the Turbulent Flow Field Around a Ducted Axial Fan”, in which the large-eddy based analyses of the time dependent three-dimensional flow field of a five-blade axial fan are performed. The simulation (four full rotations of the rotor using 92,000 compute cores) had required 110 machine hours of the HLRS HPC system.

Wolfgang Schröder (RWTH Aachen, AIA) presented his large-scale simulation project Prediction of the Turbulent Flow Field Around a Ducted Axial FanWolfgang Schröder (Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid Dynamics, RWTH Aachen University). © GCS

ISC’15 Gauss Award

Each year at ISC, GCS presents the Gauss Award to recognise the most outstanding paper in the field of scalable supercomputing of all papers accepted for the ISC’s Research Paper Sessions. This year, the award honoured the paper Updating the Energy Model for Future Exascale Systems by Prof. Dr. Peter M. Kogge, McCourtney Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana/USA). His paper introduced a major update to the 2008 DARPA Exascale report, a model which aimed at determining if it was possible to achieve 1000x the computational power of the then-emerging petascale systems at a system power of no more than 20 megawatt.

The ISC’15 Gauss Award went to Prof. Dr. Peter M. Kogge of the University of Notre Dame (Indiana/USA)The ISC’15 Gauss Award winner Prof. Dr. Peter M. Kogge with Claus Axel Müller (right) and Michael M. Resch (left). © GCS

ISC’15 Hans Meuer Award Winners

For their paper Accelerating LBM & LQCD Application Kernels by In-Memory Processing, Thorsten Hater of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre and his co-authors Paul F. Baumeister(1), Hans Boettiger(2), Jose R. Brunheroto(2), Thilo Maurer(2), Andrea Nobile(1), and Dirk Pleiter(1) were awarded the Hans Meuer Award — an award which was handed out for the first time at this year’s ISC by the session chairman Thomas Ludwig of the German Climate Computing Center Hamburg (Deutsches Klima Rechenzentrum/DKRZ). The paper focused on processing-in-memory architectures which promise increased computing performance at decreased costs in energy as the physical proximity of the compute pipelines to the data store eliminates overheads for data transport.
(1) FZ Jülich/Jülich Supercomputing Centre
(2) IBM Research

The ISC’15 Hans Meuer Award awarded the paper Accelerating LBM & LQCD Application Kernels by In-Memory ProcessingThomas Ludwig of DKRZ (right) honours the winners of the ISC’15 Hans Meuer Award Thorsten Hater (center) and Dirk Pleiter (left), both of Jülich Supercomputing Centre. © iscevents

Large Media Interest

As a major global player in HPC, the GCS representatives were of high demand as discussion partners and information sources for the international high-tech media representatives. Several journalists had followed the invitation for interviews on site. GCS also was a chosen venue for the official ISC media walking tour at the opening day of the conference.

GCS Representatives in Media InterviewsLeft to right: Claus Axel Müller (Managing Director, GCS), Arndt Bode (LRZ), Norbert Attig (JSC) in talks with HPC media representatives. © GCS

TOP500: GCS Remains Global Force in HPC

According to the 45th edition of the TOP500, which traditionally was released at the ISC opening session, there was little change in the group of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Strongest GCS representative in this list remains supercomputer JUQUEEN of GCS member centre Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC). With its Linpack performance of 5 Petaflops (Rmax), JUQUEEN - an IBM Blue Gene/Q system - captured position 9 on the 45th edition of the TOP500, defending a rank amongst the 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world for the 4th consecutive year.

JUQUEEN of JSC: #9 in TOP500 (July 2015)HPC system JUQUEEN of JSC: #9 in TOP500 (7/2015). © GCS

HPC system SuperMUC of LRZ underwent a system expansion in June 2015. Phase 2 of this installation, a Lenovo NeXtScale WCT system, made its debut in the TOP500 on position 21 with a Linpack performance of 2.8 Petaflops. SuperMUC Phase 1, an IBM System iDataPlex, occupied position 20 with 2.9 Petaflops Rmax. The two installation phases are separate partitions but are run like one single system as they use the same high speed file system. For the SuperMUC users, the LRZ system environment is transparent and provides an overall peak performance of 6.8 Petaflops (Rpeak).

Complemented by the Cray XC40 System Hornet (Linpack: 2.8 Petaflops) of the High Performance Computing Center in Stuttgart (HLRS), GCS now offers a total of 13.5 Petaflops Rmax to its users from science and research. This available compute performance further strengthens GCS’s position in providing the by far most powerful supercomputing infrastructure in all of Europe.

Undisputed No. 1 in the TOP500 remained system Tianhe-2, a supercomputer operated by the National Super Computer Center in Guangzhou, China, with a Linpack performance of 33.9 Petaflops (quadrillions of calculations per second).