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Irish Centre for High-End Computing (NUI GALWAY)


National University of Ireland Galway, founded in 1845, is the only university located in the Borders, Midlands and Western region of Ireland and has established a distinguished record in scholarship and research. The University has over 16,000 students and more than 2,000 staff. Externally funded research now represents over 25% of the total budget of NUI, Galway and the University has a long success in the Framework Programmes with notable achievements in the Cooperation, Ideas/ERC and People/Marie Curie programmes. The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC, is the national High-Performance Computing centre in Ireland. It was established in late 2005 under the aegis of the National University of Ireland, Galway. With its 24 staff, including eleven research-active  computational scientists, ICHEC is pursuing an active policy of engagement and collaboration with the research community to support the development of internationally competitive computational modeling and world-class research across all the main disciplines. In its relatively short existence, ICHEC has supported a total of 234 projects and 258 researchers.


ICHEC has well-established expertise to support and develop the science and engineering communities in Ireland. This encompasses a range of activities including (a) outreach and training, (b) provision of support for code deployment, development, optimisation and parallelisation of code, (c) involvement in collaborative projects, such as the "BioPortal Ireland" project which aims to create a sustainable, flexible web platform to bioinformatics applications. ICHEC has also developed strong credentials in GPGPU programming, with its official designation as a "CUDA Research Centre" by NVIDIA as well as the porting of DL_POLY3 to GPGPU, and in capability computing where ICHEC is an active partner in the PRACE First Implementation Phase project.


The greater part of ICHEC's effort will be under work package 5. This work is mainly focused on testing the AutoTune application and analyzing the results with respect to the cost of optimization. The pragmatic nature of the real world test cases will help ensure the software will be suitable for commercial production use.

Key personnel

Dr. Jean-Christophe (JC) Desplat studied for his degree at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, and later received a PhD for his work on "Monte Carlo simulations of amphiphilic systems" in 1996. JC worked nearly 10 years at Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), during which time he took part in a number of projects and activities ranging from user support, research, software development, development and co-ordination of large European infrastructure programmes, and teaching at post-graduate level. He is the Associate Director of the ICHEC. Ivan Girotto joined ICHEC in May 2009 as computational scientist. He got the BSc and MSc degree in Computer Science from the Ferrara University in Italy. From there he joined the Supercomputing Group of CINECA and worked in user support and program development among both industry and academia. During this time he was also a member of DEISA and was involved in user support for the DEISA Extreme Computing Initiative (DECI). Similar to the role he played when supporting research groups for both CINECA and the DEISA project, he is now working at ICHEC along with PRACE with the scientific community on existing codes with a view towards next-generation technology. He takes part in various projects that involves porting code to GPGPU architectures and associated performance analyses of applications.

Result dissemination and exploitation

NUI GALWAY will use the results of AutoTune for its routine operation as the Irish National HPC centre. By hosting a selection of real-world test cases, developed in conjunction with domain experts who are users of the National HPC service, the threshold of participation will be lowered for the user and provider side thus facilitating the growth of the community utilising AutoTune. The project will have a direct impact toward solving visible European R&D challenges in the field of high-performance computing and will provide an invaluable tool in this regard that will benefit industrial as well as academic users.

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