Irish Centre for High-End Computing

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The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) is the national high-performance computing centre in Ireland. It was established in 2005 and provides supercomputing resources, support, training and related services.

As of 2014, ICHEC manages the Fionn[1] supercomputer, a heterogeneous system composed of:

  • an SGI ICE X cluster with 320 nodes or 7,680 Intel Ivy Bridge processor cores with a combined 20 TB of memory (24 cores and 64 GB memory per node).
  • a hybrid partition with 32 nodes. Each node has 20 Intel Ivy Bridge processor cores, 64 GB of memory along with many-core hardware from Intel (2x Xeon Phi 5110P coprocessors on 16 nodes) and Nvidia (2x Tesla K20X GPGPU cards on 16 nodes).
  • a shared memory compute node (14 internal NUMA nodes) with 112 Intel Sandy Bridge processor cores, 2 Intel Xeon Phi 5110P coprocessors and 1.7 TB of memory.
  • a set of service and administrative nodes to provide user login, batch scheduling, management, tape backup, switches, etc. Storage is provided via a DDN SFA12k-20 platform with 560 TB of capacity to all components of the machine via a Lustre filesystem.

Fionn is connected to HEAnet's networking infrastructure.

Irish researchers can apply for access to Fionn via the National Service or through the Condominium Access scheme. An online Helpdesk is available for user support. ICHEC is involved in a range of education and training activities, including provision of courses for researchers.

ICHEC was designated a Nvidia CUDA Research Center in 2010 [2] Its work in this area has included the porting to CUDA of the Quantum ESPRESSO and DL_POLY molecular dynamics packages as well as various industrial benchmarking studies.

ICHEC became an Intel Parallel Computing Center (IPCC) in 2014 [3] to conduct research on many-core technology in high performance computing and big data analytics.

In collaboration with Met Éireann, ICHEC provides hardware and support to run climate and weather forecast models. ICHEC computational scientists also take an active part in the ongoing development of the models and conduct related climate/environmental research.

ICHEC works with a number of Irish government departments and agencies (e.g. Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland) to provide consultancy services to Irish companies in various areas including data mining, visualisation, data management and software development/optimization.

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