The Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC

High Performance Computing Center

Physics research of matter in extreme conditions is concerned with complex phenomena whose understanding can be illuminated by insights given by computer simulations. At a user facility such as ELI, simulations can help design and interpret experiments by exploring aspects that may be difficult to probe in the real world. It is for reasons like this that development of relevant physics models and massively parallel codes are active areas of work in major laboratories around the world. At the same time, modern trends in computer architectures deployed in current supercomputers point to a greater difficulty of efficiently exploiting the capabilities of modern machines, as more responsibilities fall on the programmers to be able to profit from various parallelism features. Yet, world-class supercomputers keep growing… Scientific computing is thus a field rich with opportunities and challenges and ELI aims at establishing a core capacity that can allow it to profit from future developments in this field. By regarding computer software as an embodiment a research group’s knowledge and by nurturing the cross-disciplinary possibilities that exist between physics and computing, ELI aims at strengthening its R&D capabilities and its value to its users.

ELI seeks to develop its high-performance computing center based on two main fronts: firstly, to count with a relatively small but modern computing infrastructure capable of supporting the development, testing and deployment of good-quality scientific software. Such software can thus be deployed locally or in larger computing centers as needs may arise. Secondly, to develop and nurture the core human skills capable of deploying the computational solutions that ELI’s research demands. At the core of such scientific computing team we have a mixture of physics (for models), mathematics (for numerical schemes) and informatics (for algorithms and implementation) all fueled by and centered in solving the problems posed by the experiments at ELI. Such fertile, interdisciplinary environment can foster scientific development on multiple fronts.