Using AI and data in manufacturing to maximize assets. Modelling the power of the sea as a low-carbon energy source. Analyzing 20 years of data on the atmosphere of the sun. Improving the speed and accuracy of tuberculosis testing. This is just a small sample of the diverse scientific investigations powered by the high performance computing clusters of Supercomputing Wales.
Supercomputing Wales is a strategic program of investment in the university sector in Wales that is changing the way supercomputing facilities are used to support research activities. The program is led by Cardiff University, in a consortium with Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea universities.
Supercomputing Wales provides researchers across Wales with access to powerful computing facilities for science and innovation projects. The program’s facilities are used by research groups at Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth and facilitate university collaborations with a range of project partners.
At a higher level, Supercomputing Wales is helping the nation capture more research funding, increase scientific partnerships, create highly-skilled research jobs and support collaborations among research partners. Funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the program supports Wales in its efforts to compete globally for research and innovation that requires state-of-the-art computing facilities to simulate and solve complex scientific problems.
With its high-powered HPC resources, Supercomputing Wales is facilitating a step change in supercomputing activity across strategically important sectors of the Welsh economy — including nano-scale materials and advanced engineering; energy and the environment; and life sciences and health.
A Centre of Excellence
At the heart of the Supercomputing Wales initiative is a supercomputing Centre of Excellence providing Welsh researchers with a full suite of leading-edge HPC on demand. In addition, Supercomputing Wales employs Research Software Engineers (RSEs), embedded with research teams in specific domains, to develop algorithms and customized software that harnesses the power of supercomputing to perform multiple computational tasks simultaneously at very high speeds.
Two supercomputer hubs
The supercomputer hubs under the Supercomputing Wales umbrella are based at Cardiff and Swansea universities, with research teams across the consortium universities accessing the hubs through high-speed network connections. In total, the facilities consist of over 13,000 cores connected to high-speed memory and storage.
With the HPC systems and expertise of Supercomputing Wales and the Supercomputing Centre of Excellence, researchers across Wales have access to the resources they need to simulate and solve complex scientific problems — and keep the nation of Wales at the forefront of theoretical science and technical innovation.
As Professor Roger Whitaker, academic director for Supercomputing Wales, notes, “Supercomputing Wales, with its supercomputing hub facilities and new group of Research Software Engineers, is a unique national technological asset that is crucial to underpin our scientific excellence in Wales.”
For the full story, including a detailed look at the Dell EMC and Intel products in the Supercomputing Wales environment, see the Dell Technologies case study “World-Class Research.”
 Atos news release, “Atos wins deal to establish supercomputing Centre of Excellence in Wales,” June 21 2018.