12th HPC Status Conference of the Gauss Alliance at KIT

From 31.5-2.6.23, the SCC hosted the HPC Status Conference of the Gauss Alliance, which for the 12th time provided researchers with a platform for interdisciplinary exchange and networking in the field of high-performance computing in Germany.

Foto Impressionen of the HPC Status Conference 2023 at KIT

SCC hosted the 12th annual status conference of the Gauss Alliance, which focused on sustainable computing and AI. In times of energy crises, climate change and the beginning of the Exascale era, HPC centers are facing numerous challenges. To reconcile the race towards ever larger and faster systems with the scarcity of resources, clever solutions are needed in both the hardware and software areas.

VP Prof. Kora Kristof addressed these tensions in her welcoming address and emphasized the importance of the SCC not only as an HPC provider for researchers at KIT, but also our role in the state network bwHPC and the national network NHR.

For the first keynote speech we welcomed Dr. Stefan Schenk from BASF, who focused on HPC applications in the chemical industry. Today, simulations have become an integral part of every economic field and are used everywhere from medical research to detergent development.

The BMBF-funded GreenHPC projects presented projects such as ESN4NW and WindHPC. They aim to create data centers directly where energy is produced: in wind turbines. The massive towers offer sufficient protection and storage space, the green energy is fed in directly and the height of the mast is utilized for the necessary cooling.

But the hardware sector is not the only area that is undergoing exciting changes. The software sector is likewise preparing for the Exascale era. The BMBF's so-called ScaleExa projects have set themselves the goal of developing scalable and innovative methods to be able to use future systems in a time and energy-efficient manner. The SCC is represented within the EXASIM project by the junior research group FiNE. The goal is to link the open source software OpenFOAM to the Ginkgo library via a special software layer which then enables OpenFOAM to run on GPUs. This shortens the computing time and thus saves energy.

With exciting new tools such as ChatGPT or Mindjourney, there is a gold-rush atmosphere in the AI sector. Driven by ever new fields of application, the AI research landscape is growing rapidly. Growing demand for computing resources coupled with the uncertain development of energy costs increases the need for collaborations between HPC providers and HPC users.  In the closing keynote speech on "AI in the age of exascale computing" our junior research group leader Dr. Charlotte Debus explored these and other questions that will be faced by the HPC and AI community in the coming years.

Dr. Jasmin Hörter