SC19 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

Sisyphus’ Work: Adapting Applications to New HPC Architectures - a European Perspective.

Authors: Jean-Pierre Panziera (European HPC Technology Platform (ETP4HPC), Atos), Marcin Ostasz (European HPC Technology Platform (ETP4HPC)), Maike Gillot (European HPC Technology Platform (ETP4HPC), Teratec)

Abstract: EuroHPC has launched a 1B Euro R&D programme aimed at delivering exascale systems, consolidating Europe's HPC technology provision and strengthening its vibrant application landscape.

However, the ever-changing heterogeneous architectures based on different instruction sets (ARM, RISC-V, Intel, etc.), including GPUs and other accelerators (FPGAs, optical accelerators, quantum, neuromorphic, etc.), render shaping applications for the next generation HPC systems a Sisyphean task.

European and international experts will discuss the approaches being pursued in Europe and world-wide and analyse how various architectures types facilitate sustainable application development.

A summary of European HPC and its projects (‘European HPC 2019’) is available at

Long Description: The establishment of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking has provided financial (1B Euro in 2019-2020) and operational mechanisms in order to consolidate the European HPC ecosystem: technology provision, infrastructure (three pre-exascale sites are currently being implemented) and application expertise. EuroHPC continues the work of the previous programme in which the technology and infrastructure provision was characterised by a strong understanding of the user needs.

New architecture configurations are being developed, which might render the traditional CPU-based system obsolete. The European Processor Initiative (EPI) project plays a pivotal role in this effort. However, apart from working a new European processor, Europe is now home to a range of innovative architectures such as GPUs and other accelerators which are based on various instruction sets.

On the other hand, Europe’s traditional strength in application development is challenged by those new architectural paradigms. The task of adapting and optimising applications to new architectures seems never-ending, due to the long-term effort required to develop suitable software solutions.

The BoF will present:

- ‘The challenges faced by application development in adapting to the new architectures being developed’ – presented first by Europe and then other regions (US, Japan, China)

The following discussion will involve reputable experts from Europe, US, Japan and China, representing infrastructure, application and technology expertise (national initiatives, HPC centres, leading projects)

The discussion will involve reputable experts from Europe, US, Japan and China, representing infrastructure, application and technology expertise (national initiatives, HPC centres, leading projects) and focus on the question: how to align architecture and application development.

Material, including a professional ‘European HPC 2019’ publication, will be available in advance at, providing background reading on the European HPC Technology and Application Ecosystem and more detailed information on the projects that make up the ecosystem. The European EXDCI project ( SC’19 booth will facilitate networking. Project members will be present at the BoF.

Target audience: Organisations, programmes and projects interested in cooperating with European projects/organisations, application and architecture experts, HPC centres, HPC technology providers, application developers.

This session is a follow-up on the SC’15-19 BoFs, which were a huge success (>120 attendees – we need a large room). At the SC’14 ETP4HPC BoF, the landscape of the European HPC Eco-system was outlined and a discussion was initiated on the areas of international collaboration. Similar sessions presenting the European Exascale projects were held at SC’11/12 and ‘13 (BoF).


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