Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Tagged: GW4

Bath's 6th Annual HPC Symposium

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

HPC Symposium 2017 - Delegation

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the 6th Annual HPC Symposium on Monday!

"We have seen the symposium go from strength to strength and become established as a key event for bringing together the University's community of HPC developers and users. This year's symposium was excellent, with talks and posters that highlighted the variety and breadth of HPC usage across the campus, and outstanding keynote talks from two of the UK's leading HPC researchers. My thanks to the organisers who, once again, did a great job."
 - Prof David Bird, Chair of the HPC Management Group

This year, over 60 participants attended from within the University along with guests from the University of Bristol, University of Glasgow and from ClusterVision. There was a vibrant array of multi-disciplined contributions from our two keynote speakers, short talks and quick-fire flash presentations (Symposium Programme). The Symposium provided a great opportunity for networking and for learning about new developments in hardware, software and numerical techniques.

Our first keynote speaker, Prof Simon McIntosh-Smith (University of Bristol), Head of the HPC Research Group, discussed how to deal with the increasingly diverse range of competing architectures that software developers are faced with, many of which are available on Bath's own Balena HPC facility. Prof David Britton (University of Glasgow), who is a member of the ALTAS project at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and leads the GridPP project, gave our second keynote and talked about the evolution of the Worldwide LHC computing grid and how this specialised research infrastructure is helping our understanding of the Universe.

HPC research at the University is innovative and various

The contributions from our community showcased the sheer variety of innovative HPC work being done across the University, covering:

  • modelling of rare events and aerospace composites;
  • designing buildings for thermal comfort;
  • molecular dynamics;
  • using GPUs to model the sea floor and the low frequency radio sky;
  • simulating quantum lattice states;
  • analysing global air quality; and
  • optimising partial differential equation solvers.

Thank you and congratulations

We would like to say a big thank you to the contributors, attendees, keynote speakers, session chairs and ground crew, who together made this meeting a day to remember.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate our two prize winners, Jack Betteridge (SAMBa CDT, Mathematical Sciences) and Will Saunders (Mathematical Sciences), once again for their outstanding contributed talk and flash/poster presentation.

We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Best wishes,
Dr Steven Chapman (Computing Services)
Dr David Miranda (ACE)
Dr Jonathan Skelton (Chemistry)


For more images, see our @BathHPC twitter feed





EPSRC launches six new Tier2 HPC Centres

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📥  Computing Services, High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has just launched six new High Performance Computational (HPC) Centres, worth a combined £20 million, at the Thinktank Science museum in Birmingham. These new Tier2 regional centres are aimed at supporting both academics and industry providing access to a diverse range of powerful supercomputers for scientific research and engineering.

These Tier2 systems will sit between the National Tier1 (e.g. ARCHER) and local campus Tier3 systems (e.g. Balena), addressing the gap in capability between these two levels. This new layer of Tier2 HPC will enable new discoveries and drive innovation, it will be open to any UK ESPRC researcher and provide easy local access, and be integrated with the HPC ecosystem across the UK, both vertically into Tier1 and Tier3 systems and horizontally to other Tier2 centres.  The Tier2 Centres will provide access to new and advanced technologies such as Intel’s Knights Landing (KNL) Xeon Phi, NVIDIAs Pascal, POWER8, 64-bit ARM and data burst buffers. To complement this minefield of diverse technologies, all six Centres will provide support though Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to assist with the training and skills development, porting and optimisation of applications and codes.


Great Western 4 (GW4) HPC Centre for Advanced Architectures: Isambard
Isambard, after Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, will be the first of its kind 64-bit ARM-based supercomputer providing multiple advanced architectures within the same system to enable evaluation and comparison across a diverse range of hardware platforms in a production environment. This is a joint project between the GW4 Alliance (universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) together with Cray Inc. and the Met Office. The service will provide over 10,000 high performance ARMv8 cores, as well as NVIDIA P100 and Intel Xeon Phi (KNL) accelerators cards.

A National Facility for Peta-scale Data Intensive Computation and Analytics: Peta-5
Peta-5, a multi-disciplinary facility providing large-scale data simulation and high performance data analytics designed to enable advances in material science, computational chemistry, computational engineering and health informatics. This project, led by University of Cambridge, will provide peta-flop performance across Intel’s KNL, GPU, x86 computational architectures and peta-scale storage on spinning disk and tape storage.

Hub in Materials and Molecule Modelling: Thomas
Thomas, after the polymath Thomas Young, a Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub will have applications in energy, healthcare and the environment. The project is led by UCL, with partners in the Materials Chemistry Consortium (MCC) and UKCP, and will provide a large x86-64 based system.

Joint Academic Data science Endeavour: JADE
JADE, led by the University of Oxford, will provide the largest GPU-based system in the UK. Working with NVIDIA, will provide around 3.7 Petaflops of performance using NVIDIA’s latest DGX-1 platform, which makes use of the new NVlink technology.  This centre will be optimised for Deep Learning which will greatly benefit research applications involved in machine learning, image/video/audio analysis and molecular dynamics.£3m-awarded-oxford-led-consortium-national-computing-facility-support-machine

HPC Midlands Plus
HPC Midlands Plus will primarily focus on data-intensive applications in fields ranging from engineering, manufacturing, healthcare and energy. Led by Loughborough University, the Centre will provide a large x86 based system, to accompany this will be a modest sized component of POWER8 systems each with 1TB memory.

Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC): Cirrus
Cirrus, will be hosted by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC). It will offer over 10,000 x86 cores to both science and industry. This will nicely complement EPSRC’s National HPC service, ARCHER. As part of this project, EPCC will host a mini-RDF (Research Data Facility) to provide common object-based data store to the Tier2 ecosystem and other supercomputers.


Recent press releases about the launch:




GW4 joins industry partners to develop ‘first of its kind’ supercomputer

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

GW4 Alliance, together with Cray Inc. and the Met Office, has been awarded £3m by EPSRC to deliver a new Tier 2 high performance computing (HPC) service for UK-based scientists. This unique new service, named ‘Isambard’ after the renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, will provide multiple advanced architectures within the same system in order to enable evaluation and comparison across a diverse range of hardware platforms. It will also provide a service to the community that will enable algorithm development and the porting of scientific codes. Isambard will include 10,000+ ARMv8 64-bit cores, in addition to a smattering of x86 CPUs, Intel Knights Landing Xeon Phi processors, and NVIDIA P100 GPUs.
For more information, please see the below press releases:

Bath's press release:

GW4 press release:


GW4 infrastructure survey and £30 Amazon voucher prize draw


📥  Computing Services

We need your help to find out what IT tools would help you to communicate and collaborate with your colleagues at other GW4 universities.  GW4 is an alliance between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. The aim is to increase the research capability of the South West of England and Wales by building up cross-institutional research communities.

The GW4 infrastructure survey has 17 questions and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.   It closes 5.30pm, Monday 27 April 2015.  As a thank you, there is a prize draw for a £30 Amazon voucher.

A rewarding part of rolling out IT tools is finding out what will help the customer. Your feedback will make a difference and help us identify the right tools for you.  The results from this survey and a series of workshops taking place at the GW4 universities will feed into a recommendations report that will be available after May 2015.