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Germany Doubles Down on Supercomputing, Commits to Investments in ‘Smart Scale’

German federal ministry announces increased support for supercomputing, focus on improving power, efficiency, and training

GCS NewsFlash 10/2017

MinDir. Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Lukas, Head of the Key Technologies Unit at the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), lauded the Gauss Centre of Supercomputing (GCS) as one of Germany’s great scientific success stories, and indicated that the federal government would be investing deeper in high-performance computing (HPC).

Speaking at ISC17, the 32nd annual international conference on HPC, Lukas reaffirmed the German government’s commitment to funding HPC, and indicated that were GCS not to have been created 10 years ago, there would be a significant need to create it today. “GCS is a good example that shows investment in research pays off,” he said.

In describing the next decade of funding for GCS, Lukas emphasized that German supercomputing would be focused on “smart scale” along its path toward exascale computing—a thousand-fold increase in computing power over current-generation petascale machines, capable of at least 1 quadrillion calculations per second.

“GCS is about smart scale; it isn’t only about computers, but computing,” he said. GCS’ smart exascale efforts are funded through the BMBF's smart scale initiative.

In addition to new supercomputers at each of the three GCS centres—the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Garching near Munich—GCS also plans to invest heavily in furthering education and training programs.

While Lukas acknowledged the need to develop exascale computing resources in Germany, he indicated that the government wanted to fund initiatives that would enable researchers to make the best possible use of supercomputers. He also emphasized that GCS will continue to support German and European researchers through excellence-based, competitive grants for access to diverse supercomputing architectures at the three GCS centres. Lukas emphasized that supporting GCS made a major impact in supporting German and European researchers’ HPC needs.

In general, the BMBF aims to increase research investment from 3% to 3.5% of German GDP by 2025.

June 21, 2017