High-Performance Computing Network

HPCNET - 9004

Work Area: High-Performance Computing

Keywords high-performance computing

Keywords HPC technology transfer, HPC end-users, HPC enabling organisations, HPC technology suppliers, Virtual HPC supermarket, World Wide Web information infrastructure

Start Date: 15 July 1994 / Duration: 3 years / Status: running

[ participants / contact ]

Abstract The HPCnet Network of Excellence will act as a catalyst for the dissemination and application of High Performance Computing (HPC) technologies by European industry. It brings together:

By identifying the HPC and related needs of European industry, HPCnet will be able to develop a coordinated strategy for technology transfer, information dissemination, and for education and training in HPC technologies. HPCnet will stimulate and influence the development of a European HPC 'information infrastructure'. This work will draw on the experiences of the founder and member nodes of HPCnet in the application of HPC technology to industrial and commercial problems, and on the results of relevant research projects.


The overall objective of HPCnet is to catalyse the early exploitation of HPC by European industry. HPCnet seeks to complement and add value to national programmes by adding European perspectives and experience. Through the dissemination of appropriately processed and targetted information about HPC solutions, HPCnet will develop awareness within end-user organisations. HPCnet has identified four key HPC application areas:

Education and training will be promoted through collaboration and sharing of resources within HPCnet. HPCnet aims to assist in the coordination of research and development activities by the formation of long-term relationships between relevant sectors of European industry. With membership from HPC technology supplier and research organisations HPCnet will also be able to raise awareness of emerging technologies.


HPCnet will provide the necessary infrastructure and management support for coordination, information dissemination, and training activities. World Wide Web technology will be adopted as the principal method of information distribution. Besides repositories for member organisation information and contact lists for specific expertise, there will be databases containing a directory of public domain parallel software, benchmarks for performance evaluation of HPC systems together with benchmark performance figures for currently available machines. Case studies analysing examples of the transfer of HPC technology to industry and commerce will be presented, and will help identify the generic bottlenecks to HPC uptake. There will be two workshops each year devoted to the general idea of raising awareness, and also technical workshops, targeted at each of the four application areas.

HPCnet will be managed by an Executive Board consisting of representatives from the 15 founding nodes plus a representative from the CEC. There will be a pilot phase (year 1) when the founder nodes will cooperate to build the HPCnet infrastructure and assess the access mechanisms and services offered. During this phase HPCnet will organise general HPC awareness workshops and provide an information service for members. When operational, members will have full access to the on-line information resources of HPCnet. HPCnet will then actively publicise an 'open' membership philosophy.


HPCnet will raise the awareness of the likely impact of HPC technology throughout all sectors of European industry. By bringing together end-users, enabling organisations and technology suppliers, HPCnet will foster the growth of multidisciplinary teams with a critical mass of HPC skills and technologies to address user requirements. The ability to form appropriate strategic groupings of industrial, commercial, enabler and supplier organisations will be vital to European companies, allowing them to re-engineer their processes to incorporate the right HPC technologies as and when they become available. Both the US and Japan are investing heavily in HPC programmes to provide their industries with a competitive advantage in the coming years. HPCnet has the potential to facilitate and broker the development of strong pan-European groupings able to thrive and prosper in the intensely competitive future facing all of European industry.

Information Dissemination Activies

Further Information about HPCnet is available from the HPCnet home page <URL:http://hpcnet.soton.ac.uk/>.


University of Southampton - UK
Department of Electronics and Computer Science
Southampton, S017 1BJ, UK.

Founding Nodes

CERN CN Division (F/CH)
CRS4 (I)
University of Amsterdam (NL)
Trinity College Dublin (IRL)
Andersen Consulting (F)
Smith System Engineering Ltd (UK)
CASA Space Division (E)
AEG Electrocom GmbH (D)
Unilever Speciality Chemicals (NL)
CSELT S.p.A. (I)
Electricite de France (F) br> Engineering Systems International GmbH (D)


Prof A J G Hey
Tel: +44-1703-592069
Fax: +44-1703-593045
e-mail: ajgh@ecs.soton.ac.uk

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HPCNET - 9004, August 1994

please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook