Computing for Brain Research
Understanding of the workings of the human brain takes more than grey matter. Scientists need the support of enormous computing power.
The High Performance Analytics and Computing Platform provides the supercomputer infrastructure for brain researchers both inside and out of the HBP. There are a network of supercomputers, with centres in Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
These are some of the most powerful computers in the world, capable of performing quadrillions of operations per second and have memory capacity measured in quadrillions of bytes.
HBP neuroscientists collect a lot of data, then develop brain models based on this data and finally simulate these models.
The human brain is so complex that a normal computer is not enough to simulate even a fraction of the human brain. One of the supercomputers is as powerful as about 350,000 standard computers.
The Human Brain Project not only makes this hardware available to the scientists, but also develops software that supports neuroscientists in their work, e.g. to manage their huge datasets, to simulate models most efficiently on the supercomputers (getting better results as fast as possible) or to look at “visualisations” of the datasets. A visualisation turns the columns of numbers produced by a simulation into a graphical representation like pictures or even 3D objects.