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The European Centre of Excellence for Engineering Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EXCELLERAT (The European Centre of Excellence for Engineering Applications)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2020-05-31

Engineering applications will be among the first exploiting Exascale, not only in academia but also in industry. In fact, the industrial engineering field is the field with the highest Exascale potential. Thus, the EXCELLERAT activity combines the premium European expertise to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Engineering Applications on HPC with a broad service portfolio, paving the way for the evolution towards Exascale, which will solve highly complex and costly engineering problems, and create enhanced technological solutions even at the development stage. This is perfectly in line with the European HPC Strategy, as implemented through the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

To fulfil its mission, EXCELLERAT will focus its developments on six carefully chosen reference applications (Nek5000, Alya, AVBP, TPLS, FEniCS, Flucs), which were analysed on their potential to support the aim to achieve Exascale performance in HPC for Engineering. Thus, they are promising candidates to act as showcases for evolution of applications towards execution on high scale on Exascale Demonstrators, Pre-Exascale Systems and Exascale Machines.

EXCELLERAT addresses the setup of a Centre as an entity, acting as a single hub, covering a wide range of issues, from «non-pure-technical» services, such as access to knowledge or networking up to technical services as e.g. co-design, scalability enhancement or code porting to new (Exa) Hardware. As the consortium contains key players in HPC, High Performance Data Analytics (HPDA), AI and experts for the reference applications, impact (e.g. code improvements and awareness raising) is guaranteed. The scientific excellence of the EXCELLERAT consortium enables evolution, optimization, scaling and porting of applications towards disruptive technologies and increases Europe´s competitiveness in engineering. Within the frame of the project, EXCELLERAT will prove the applicability of the results for not only the six chosen reference applications, but even going beyond. Thus, EXCELLERAT will extend the recipients of its developments beyond the consortium and interact via diverse mechanisms to integrate external stakeholders of its value network into its evolution.


Therefore, EXCELLERAT allows to increase the processing speed, which enables businesses to deliver faster results and save more money and include:
1-Enhanced Design and Manufacturing Process.
2-Enhanced Streamline Processes.
3-Enhanced Supply and Demand Processes.
a- Essential improvements in efficient scaling for three prominent European HPC applications:
◦ Improved applicability to engineering problems with complex geometry of NEK5000 by improved high order meshing methods and adaptive mesh refinement.

◦ Alya strong scalability demonstrated on 96,000 cores on 2 billion cells

◦ Improved efficiency of AVBP by highly scalable mesh partitioning and redistribution methodologies.

◦ Improvement of strong scalability in FeniCS.

• Extensions of the HPC codes to accelerators.
◦ Development of a unified Central Processing Unit (CPU)/GPU vectorization strategy with system-level dynamic load balancing for heterogeneous architectures in Alya.

◦ Strong scaling benchmarking and profiling 131k AMD Epyc2 cores (PRACE Irene Joliot Curie rome system) with almost 90% ideal scaling. Ported and tested AVBP up to 32 P100 Gpus on Piz Daint (PRACE CSCS) using the OpenACC development with almost 80% scalability.
◦ Ported Ax kernel of Nekbone over to FGPAs, currently demonstrating around 60 GFLOPS with a power-draw of 35 Watts with one kernel, and estimate can increase kernel performance further to around 100 GFLOPS and scale to around 4 or 5 kernels. So approx 400-500 GFLOPS is the likely performance target, which will be competitive against GPUs with significantly reduced power-consumption.
◦ CODA’s linear algebra solver library (Spliss) is running on GPUs.

b-Development of the external service portfolio.
c-First portal release published according to time plan. Feedback was collected from partners and users to enhance usability and expand offer in a new version in development.
d-A wide spectrum of training material (tutorials, best practices and guidelines) is already available for the EXCELLERAT applications.
e-Training activities in the form of webinars have already taken place internally to the consortium or in collaboration with other H2020 projects.

f-Development of a methodology for the extension of the initial service list towards a portfolio of marketable services, which is fully driven by the EXCELLERAT use cases.

g-The initial market assessment has been performed, identifying the directions, in which the EXCELLERAT CoE will develop.
h-The Initial Dissemination and Collaboration Plan was developed and published. The main communication channels have been set up and are regularly being updated.
The European engineering industry consists of 130 000 companies of diverse size. Overall, these companies employ over 10.3 million people, with high levels of qualifications and skills. Together they generate an annual output of around EUR 1,840 billion and about 1/3 of all exports from the EU 4. The European engineering industry plays a key role in realising the goal of increasing the industrial production value above 20% GDP by 2020 5. To achieve this aim and meet the challenges of the fourth wave of industrialisation, it is essential to support European engineering companies in their use of HPC and HPDA, thus increasing European industrial competitiveness.

EXCELLERAT combines Europe’s leading HPC centres, application specialists and supporting partners, who have worked with and offered their expertise and knowledge to engineering companies and researchers from across industry and academia for the past three decades. A key strength of EXCELLERAT is that it will build on all of the critical mass, knowledge and expertise of these leading European organisations to create a Centre of Excellence, which will span the whole domain of engineering – ensuring that innovations produced are applicable to other engineering codes.

A successful Centre of Excellence for HPC Engineering Applications must be implemented in a focused and business oriented way. Our starting point is therefore that the stakeholders bring a variety of key existing skills into the Centre of Excellence, which can be easily categorized as: Knowledge and Experience in applying established mechanisms, Existing Tools, HPC Methods and Expertise on the Engineering application lifecycle, based on leading edge technology.

Expertise in this particular case covers both, expertise in technologies (software and hardware), how to apply them and, in addition, how to get access to knowledge if necessary to fulfil certain complex HPC and HPDA challenges. The knowledge on technological changes such as changing architectures, and the ability to get access to them and to help to evaluate or improve them is a key aspect of the centre. Finally, business expertise is a core requirement when developing a sustainable foundation for EXCELLERAT as we approach the Exascale. This impact not only the industrial process but even it will effectively cut the cost of the final product as a direct impact of the less costly and time consuming process.
Setup of the Consortium
Mapping the reference application challenges to the engineering workflow