PRACE consortium grows

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The project to establish a European petascale supercomputer service has gained more momentum as two new members (Ireland and Turkey) join. The press release notes that there are now 16 partners in the initiative with several additional countries also having expressed their interest in the initiative.

PRACE is also moving ahead with community activities, such as the PRACE Summer School. The main activity of the early project, to evaluate the market and establish supercomputer architectures for the petascale service in 2009/10 has not generated much public material yet, although there is this press release. Word from the inside does suggest that the project is progressing its plans for petaflops prototypes due to be installed later this year, and on the thornier issues of the legal form and governance of the eventual permanent petascale service.

PRACE also has a plan to foster greater involvement of European end user industry in HPC technologies. This is covered in part in the slides here (pdf). The slides note that usage of HPC technology in industry is typcially 6-8 years behind the technology frontier (as available to top research). Following USA moves to boost competitiveness of local industry by shortening this period (e.g. the INCITE program), PRACE is pursuing simialr goals, including raising the awareness for competitive advantages of tier-0 HPC usage.

(This very InsideHPC contributor is also featured in the group photo towards the end of these slides, as I was an active part of PRACE until recently.)