ERCIM News No.29 - April 1997

GMD-NEC Research Co-operation in High Performance Computing

by Guy Lonsdale and Rolf Hempel

Over the last year, NEC Europe Ltd. has expanded, in both numbers of research staff members and research activities, its C&C Research Laboratory (CCRLE) at the GMD's TechnoPark in Sankt Augustin. From its inception, CCRLE has been collaborating with the GMD Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing: from research in parallel numerical simulation to execution environments for the Cenju-3 parallel platform.

NEC Europe Ltd. established NEC's first European research laboratory, CCRLE Sankt Augustin, in 1994 for research in parallel and high performance computing. Through this laboratory, NEC is aiming to develop its relations with various European research centres and institutions and to contribute to the advance of scientific computation in Europe.

An important part of the activities at CCRLE involve direct collaborations with GMD Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing:

Massively Parallel platform, Cenju-3

The 64-processor Cenju-3 installed at GMD is made available to research groups at GMD and CCRLE and to the wider research community. Several projects investigating the simulation of complex phenomena (for example, weather prediction, turbulent flows around aircraft and in combustion processes) on advanced computer architectures have used the Cenju-3 as a test and development platform. Researchers at GMD have ported and extended the execution environment, EASY, to improve the job scheduling.

The CLIC Library and Aerodynamic Simulation

The Communications Library for Industrial Codes (CLIC) was developed by GMD Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing within the German National project POPINDA. In the latter part of that project, they were supported by CCRLE and the future development of CLIC will be carried out by a joint GMD-NEC team. The CLIC library is an extremely large set of routines which provides a high-level support for the parallel implementations of codes such as the central, parallel German Aerospace CFD code FLOWer (also produced by the POPINDA Consortium). Future joint activities between GMD Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing, CCRLE and the German Aerospace Research Establishment (Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Luft- und Raumfahrt) are planned which will ensure that CLIC is able to continue to provide the basis for the parallel FLOWer code.

Efficient Numerical Algorithms

The development of new and improved numerical algorithms underlies the efficient exploitation of HPC systems. For more than a decade, GMD Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing has been at the forefront of research into fast numerical simulation using multilevel methods. Co-operative research with CCRLE has recently focused on robust solution, with the integration of Krylov-subspace techniques, and improved accuracy without loss of computational efficiency.

Visualisation for Coupled Simulations

The ESPRIT project CISPAR ­ Open Interface for Coupling of Industrial Simulation Codes on Parallel Systems ( ­ aims to enable the coupling of industrial codes for the simulation of interacting phenomena (eg fluid-structure interaction in artificial heart-valves or in torque converters). At the centre of the adopted approach is the COCOLIB library, to be produced by GMD Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing, which performs all communications tasks occurring between the single simulation codes. In collaboration with GMD, CCRLE is providing the project with the COCOVIS tool, which visualises the data transfer within COCOLIB.

Other activities of CCRLE, Sankt Augustin, beyond the joint research co-operations with GMD include the following:

With the GMD Institute for Integrated Publication and Information Systems, NEC has established a collaboration in a quite separate area with its C&C Research Laboratory in Berlin. This laboratory is concerned with research into network technology and multi-media communications platforms.

Please contact:
Rolf Hempel - C&C Research Laboratories, NEC Europe Ltd.
Tel: +49 2241 9252 95

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