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High Performance Computing

High Performance Computing (HPC) most generally refers to the practice of aggregating computing power in a way that delivers much higher performance than one could get out of a typical desktop computer in order to solve large problems in science, engineering, or business.

Since 2006, the University of Luxembourg has invested more than seven million euro into its own HPC facilities. Special focus was laid on the development of large computing power combined with huge data storage capacity. This characteristic distinguishes the HPC center at the university from many other HPC facilities, which often concentrate on only one of these two pillars.

A platform for research in cryptology or biomedicine

Nowadays this initiative gives more than 340 researchers the possibility to run compute- and storage-intensive calculations as part of their research: computer scientists, engineers, physicists, material science researchers, biologists, and even economists.

The platform is used among others for research in cryptology, software validation, or simulation and analysis of communication networks. The large installed storage capacity is crucial for research in polymer physics or material science, simulations in economical research, or bio-medical research on neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinson or Alzheimer.

An important factor for economic competitiveness

The HPC center gives the faculties and the interdisciplinary centres a substantial comparative advantage. The availability of huge computing resources in combination with extensive data storage facilities is important for an attractive research environment and attracts researchers to join the University of Luxembourg. This HPC facility is a strategic asset of the university and an important factor for the scientific and therefore also economic competitiveness of Luxembourg.

Computing capacity and outlook

The currently available HPC platform is based on several clusters of compute nodes, which provide in total a computing power of 85 TeraFlops (1 TeraFlops = 1012 floating point operations per second) and around 5 PetaByte of data storage. This capacity places the HPC center of the University of Luxembourg as one of the major actors in HPC for the Greater Region Saar-Lor-Lux.

With the move to the new University site in Esch-Belval, about 20 km southwestern of the capital, the University’s ambition is to further develop this platform. The new data center in Belval will provide enough space to extend the storage capacity by a factor of 100 the installed computing power and by 4 the storage capacity.

More information on http://hpc.uni.lu.