What is Supercomputing Scotland?
Supercomputing Scotland is a business improvement initiative from EPCC at The University of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise which provides Scottish companies with the knowledge to help them decide if using high performance computing (HPC) makes sense for them in reaching their business objectives and, if so, supports the company to proceed with a project part-funded by Scottish Enterprise and delivered by EPCC.
How can Supercomputing Scotland help your business?
Supercomputing Scotland will undertake a rigorous analysis of your business and determine areas where engaging in a 4-6 month HPC Adopter Project could lead to improved business performance, quicker delivery or improved new product development.
In what sort of areas might an HPC Adopter Project help my business?
Whilst a project might specifically involve the use of EPCC's supercomputers, it is equally possible that EPCC will adapt whatever computing resources exist within the company to maximise their potential. This is essentially making the company's computing â€˜super'. Whilst both are feasible, the most likely areas where an HPC Adopter Project might be developed include:-
- Advanced modelling and simulation;
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD);
- Large data management;
- Complex algorithms - developing existing in-house company software to run on a supercomputer.
Advanced Modelling and simulation
Advanced modelling and simulation gives companies a competitive edge through efficient product design, increased data analysis and improved manufacturing processes. Benefits include reducing the time, labour and cost needed to bring products to market, while facilitating improved research and development capabilities.
CFD is used to model the flow of fluids using complex algorithms that model a number of changing parameters. CFD is used across numerous industry sectors. Applications range from the aerospace, nuclear and automotive sectors; through manufacturing, chemical and process sectors; to the pharmaceuticals, biomedical and electronics industries. Today in Scotland, it is frequently being used in off-shore renewable energy contexts.
Large data modelling
Put crudely, HPC can help with large-scale data by calculating â€˜big sums quicker'. The storage and manipulation of large-data and converting that data into business intelligence or visual rendering is significantly enhanced by supercomputers with vast storage space and multi-core processors running many calculations at the same time in parallel.
Complex algorithms and adapting company software to run on a supercomputer
The complexity of mathematical algorithms can often be a problem for most office-based computers that are often not set up to maximise their computing output. By re-configuring a company's software code and porting it to a supercomputer at EPCC, a company can significantly increase the complexity of their modelling and achieve significantly better analysis.
Summary of business advantages of using HPC as opposed to â€˜traditional' computing â€“
- Cheaper: lower development costs
- Quicker: shorter time to market
- Simpler: new designs can be evaluated without physical models
- Adaptable: design refinements can be tested
- Flexible: tests can be repeated with different parameters.