New facility helps UK business exploit high performance computing
22 Oct 2015



New Centre Designed to Optimise Performance of OpenPOWER Systems for Modelling & Simulation and Big Data Analytics

22 Oct 2015 – Increasing performance and productivity while minimising energy consumption are challenges faced by all businesses, but especially so when exploiting high performance computing technologies. A new collaboration between IBM, NVIDIA, Mellanox and the STFC Hartree Centre aims to deliver significant competitive advantages by tackling these challenges head-on

The UK's first POWER Acceleration and Design Centre (PADC) aims to improve modelling, simulation and big data analytical capabilities on IBM’s OpenPOWER systems.

“The goal is simple – to boost productivity, drive growth and create jobs,” STFC Hartree Centre acting Director Dr Peter Allan said.

The new facility marks a running start to the Government's recently announced (link opens in a new window) investment and expansion of the Hartree Centre at STFC’s Daresbury site, which is designed to boost Modelling & Simulation, Big Data Analytics and Cognitive Computing research in the UK in order to deliver economic growth on a national scale.

Dr Allan said: “The PADC will help industry and academia take advantage of IBM and NVIDIA’s technological leadership in supercomputing and the Hartree Centre's expertise and experience in delivering solutions to real-world problems. It will also provide industry and academia with access to the Hartree Centre’s research capabilities and network of global partners. The PADC will help the Government's ambition to provide world-leading facilities to improve the productivity of UK business.”

The Hartree Centre, working with IBM, already has a history of collaborating on research and development with industry and academic institutions, and in providing access to its supercomputing facilities. These services are now being extended to help organisations define application design and optimisation projects and will assist in bringing together an ecosystem of computational scientists and engineers with expertise in specific domains such as chemistry, fluid dynamics, structures, and acoustics.

STFC Hartree Centre’s visualisation facilities
(Credit: STFC)

“This new POWER Acceleration and Design Centre demonstrates IBM’s commitment to expanding the software ecosystem around OpenPOWER. The centre extends and complements the Acceleration and Design Centres in Jülich, Germany, and Montpellier, France, to a new class of industrial and commercial organisations,” said Dave Turek, IBM’s Vice President of HPC. “To that end, establishing it at the Hartree Centre is in recognition of its successful engagement with industry and its record in commercialising technological developments.”

Staff from IBM Research, NVIDIA and Hartree Centre will provide expertise and consultation to help improve performance for the GPU-accelerated OpenPOWER systems. To achieve the highest levels of performance it is important to exploit all components of a POWER-based system: architecture, memory, storage, interconnects and integration. Consequently, the Centre will also be supported by the expertise of other OpenPOWER partners, including Mellanox, and will host a POWER-based system with the Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform (link opens in a new window), consisting of energy-efficient, high-performance NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators and enabling software.

You can read more about this initiative here (link opens in a new window).

About the OpenPOWER Foundation

The OpenPOWER Foundation is an open technical community based on the POWER architecture, enabling collaborative development and opportunity for member differentiation and industry growth. The goal of the Foundation is to create an open ecosystem, using the POWER architecture to share expertise, investment, and server-class intellectual property to serve the evolving needs of customers and industry. Founded in December 2013, the organisation now has more than 150 members worldwide.

Further information

IBM (link opens in a new window)

STFC Hartree Centre

NVIDIA (link opens in a new window)

Mellanox (link opens in a new window)

OpenPOWER Foundation (link opens in a new window)

Contact information

Jake Gilmore
Science and Technology Facilities Council
+44 7970 99 4586