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Inauguration of HLRS Annex Building and HLRS CAVE

 

Expansion Building Concluded

Official Opening of New Facilities of the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and Inauguration of HLRS CAVE

The office and research facilities of the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) were officially opened with a ceremony on Wednesday,
October 31, 2012. A newly added two-story expansion complex complements the seven year-old original HLRS-building on Nobelstraße 19 on the Stuttgart University campus. Now available is 2,700 m² of floor space, providing enough room to accommodate all HLRS staff under one roof. The new HLRS building also features a state-of-the art 3D Visualization Center (“CAVE”) – a virtual reality environment consisting of a walk-in cube of acrylic and glass which will be used for three-dimensional visualization of complex computational data.

“Seven years after the opening of the first part of the HLRS building, the new facilities bring about the next step into establishing one of the most effective high performance computing centers in Europe. The virtual workbench for research, development and design will make us internationally prominent and will help us further our co-operation with the industry,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Ressel, rector of the University of Stuttgart.

The newly added 1,400 m² floor space made it possible to unite the HLRS staff–which used to be dispersed through different buildings in the campus–in only one building, thus allowing for more intense and closer interaction of HPC (High Performance Computing) research and operations. “We finally have all of our research and development staff united – in immediate vicinity of our excellent HPC tools. Now we can work with even greater focus on the research of important matters such as mobility, environment, health and energy”, HLRS Director Prof. Resch gladly affirms.

The total cost of the HLRS annex building project, 5.5 million Euros, was covered by HLRS funds. The construction of a new HPC training center to be delivered by 2016 will complete the expansion efforts of HLRS.

 

CAVE: Visualization Center for 3D and Virtual Reality

Together with the inauguration of the new HLRS building, a brand new 3D Visualization Center for 3D and Virtual Reality presentations was commissioned. The new HLRS CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) has 5 projection surfaces–3 walls, ceiling and floor–forming a cube with an edge length of 2.7 m. The projection technology extends over 3 stories. Single chip DLP projectors with two separate input signals for left and right images render a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. The CAVE is operated by a cluster of 22 Intel Sandybridge nodes which come with 11 K5000 and 11 K6000 NVIDIA Quadro GPUs and QDR Infiniband interconnect.

Visualization provides the means through the state-of-the-art CAVE as an additional science and research tool for HPC users. Ever growing volumes of increasingly complex computing results make it necessary to visualize data sets in 3D models or in a virtual reality environment for better analysis and evaluation. Virtual reality allows researchers to work with simulation data in real time. Through the dynamic adaptation of the image displayed in the CAVE, a user working inside gets the feeling of actually moving inside of a “virtual world”, e. g. in a completely simulated nature environment consisting of forests, mountains, valleys, river beds, etc. Probable interventions in nature and landscape – such as the placing of a power plant into said environment - can be illustrated in real time and its effects on it can be observed instantaneously.

The computing center in the HLRS research facility accommodates the Hermit supercomputer which was commissioned in early 2012. With a peak performance of more than 1 Petaflops, Hermit is one of the fastest supercomputers in Europe and is to date the fastest supercomputer worldwide used for industrial research. Apart from that, Hermit is used in the fields of e. g. health, energy, environment and mobility, areas in which today’s science and research activities can no longer do without HPC and first-class computer simulations. An upgrade of Hermit is planned for 2013. Once completed, the HLRS system will deliver about 5 Petaflops – a performance which is necessary to maintain competitive on an international level to a) help strengthen Germany’s overall position in supercomputing and b) continue to attract excellent scientists from all over the world.

HLRS is a member of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) which also incorporates the Leibniz Computing Center in Garching/Munich (LRZ) and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC). GCS provides the largest and most powerful supercomputing infrastructure in Europe to serve a wide range of science and research activities in diverse disciplines. All three GCS locations are equipped with Petascale HPC systems which range amongst the fastest supercomputers world wide (TOP500, 11/2012).

Contact: Prof. Michael M. Resch (resch@hlrs.de)

Photo Material HLRS Building

For photos in high resolution, please click on the corresponding image. Please respect the copy right guidelines. (c) for all images: HLRS

 

 

Photo Material CAVE

For photos in high resolution, please click on the corresponding image. Please respect the copy right guidelines. (c) for all images: HLRS

 

The official press release (German version) about the inauguration of the HLRS building and HLRS CAVE can be found hier.


 


History & Mission

The HLRS was founded in 1996 as the first German national HPC center, setting an important milestone in the 50 year old history of HPC at the University of Stuttgart.

From the start, HLRS has given support to local industry leaders like Daimler and Porsche, provided expertise in simulation – since 2008 through the Automotive Simulation Center Stuttgart (ASCS) – and access to HPC systems; a service extended to other industries as well.

Since 2007, the HLRS is a partner of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), working together with its fellow centers to support European researchers.

Nowadays, the HLRS carries the mission of acting as a center of competence in the field of HPC, supporting users and conducting research. The focus is on applications targeting health, mobility, energy and the environment.

German Version

Die Gründung des HLRS im Jahr 1996 als erstes Bundeshöchstleistungrechenzentrum markierte einen wichtigen Meilenstein in der 50-jährigen Geschichte des wissenschaftlichen Rechnens an der Universität Stuttgart.

Von Beginn an hat das HLRS seine Dienstleistungen nicht nur Wissenschaftlern, sondern auch der lokalen Industrie wie Daimler und Porsche angeboten. Seit 2008 werden Rechenleistung und Beratung in der effizienten Nutzung von Großrechnern auch in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Automotive Simulation Center Stuttgart (ASCS) angeboten.

Seit 2007 ist das HLRS ein Mitglied des Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) und arbeitet dort mit seinen Partnern insbesondere an der Unterstützung von Wissenschaftlern aus ganz Europa.

Darüber hinaus verfolgt das HLRS als Kompetenzzentrum für wissenschaftliches Rechnen die Zielsetzung Anwender zu unterstützen und neue Methoden für zukünftige Rechensysteme zu erforschen. Ein Schwerpunkt liegt dabei auf Anwendungen im Bereich Gesundheit, Mobilität, Energie und Umwelt.