The project began a few months ago with 29 European countries, but at present consists of 39 European countries and six countries from other continents. “It is the largest COST Action ever, which shows the interest that exists for it,” Carretero pointed out. It now involves nearly 200 scientists, almost 40% of whom are young researchers, because one essential goal of these Actions is to promote and create an ecosystem of scientists who can work on these matters in the European Union in the future.
The goal in scalable and sustainable technology is for us to have large parallel supercomputers, now termed “exascale” computers, and to have large data centers with hundreds of thousands of computers coordinating with distributed memory systems by the year 2020. “Ultimately, the idea is to have both architectures converge to solve problems in what we call ultrascale,” said Carretero. The applications of these systems and the benefits they can yield for society are enormous, according to the researchers, who note that this type of computing will help conduct studies about genomics, new materials, simulations of fluid dynamics used for atmospheric analysis and weather forecasts, and even the human brain and its behavior.
Large systems, important challenges
The challenges that this type of computing poses affect aspects such as scalability, the programming models used, resilience to failures, energy management, the handling of large volume of data, etc. “We try to find the way that all solutions that are proposed can be transmitted to user applications with the minimum possible redesign and reprogramming effort,” Carretero remarked.
The project started last March and the researchers have already held two important meetings: one for work groups in Madrid in July and another in Oporto (Portugal) at the end of August, attended by representatives of the research groups that participate as well as Project Officers from the EU’s H2020 program. By reducing duplication of work and providing a more comprehensive vision of all the researchers, this COST Action hopes to increase the value of these groups at the European level, promoting European leadership in this area of knowledge, as well as enhancing its impact on science, the economy and society.
This Action, which concludes in 2018, aims to produce a catalogue of open source applications that are being developed by the scientists and which will serve to demonstrate new ultrascale systems and take on their main challenges. In this way, anyone will be able to use these applications to test them in their systems and demonstrate their level of sustainability.
Further information: http://www.nesus.eu