The overall goal of SP7 is to provide the HBP Consortium and the broader European neuroscience community with supercomputing, Big Data and Cloud capabilities at the exascale, as well as the system software, middleware, interactive computational steering and visualisation support necessary to create and simulate multi-scale brain models and to address the hard-scaling challenges of whole brain modelling.

The Subproject will utilise innovative HPC technology as detailed in the Exascale Roadmap of the Strategic Research Agenda of the European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing. In order to meet the specific challenging requirements of the HBP, SP7 will carry out additional specific research in hardware and software, thus contributing to path-breaking ICT technology research. Key research topics include novel accelerator technologies addressing highly scalable computational challenges, the use of hierarchical storage-class memory to increase available memory by more than an order of magnitude per core, and the realisation of interactive supercomputing at the exascale level—in particular interactive computational steering, visualisation and Big Data integration.

The HBP hardware roadmap requires innovative energy-efficient technologies. The development system and the central architecture for simulations of the brain model will include hierarchical storage-class memory technologies with fully interactive computational steering and visualisation capabilities. It is planned to reach exascale performance by the end of 2022 using technologies complemented by brain-inspired communication and computing sub-systems.

SP7's main objective for the Ramp-Up Phase was to establish the High Performance Analytics and Computing Platform, and make it available to groups outside the Consortium. SP7 also worked on establishing a relationship with PRACE, and prepared the procurement of the HBP pre-exascale supercomputer. The Subproject also worked on researching and developing the system software and middleware needed for the Operational Phase. 

In SGA1, SP7 aims to provide:

  • An operational version of the pan-European High-Performance Analytics and Computing Platform, based on supercomputers at Jülich, CSCS, BSC, Cineca, and further hosting sites in other countries;
  • High-fidelity visualisation systems at RWTH and EPFL;
  • A high speed network connection;
  • Web-enabled Platform components integrated into the Collaboratory;
  • Federated data services, including Cloud services at KIT, that are interoperable with public Cloud providers.

What People are Saying

  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. This is our opportunity.

    Prof. Karlheinz Meier, University of Heidelberg,
    Co-leader of the Neuromorphic Computing Subproject

  • A key goal of the Human Brain Project is to construct realistic simulations of the human brain – this will require molecular and cellular information and from that we will be able to model and understand biological and medical processes. In addition, we will be able to use that information to design and implement new kinds of computers and robotics.

    Prof. Seth Grant, University of Edinburgh,
    Co-leader of the Strategic Mouse Brain data subproject

  • The Human Brain is the most complex system that we know of. We would like to develop some kind of ‘google' brain where we can zoom in and out, see it from different perspectives and understand how brain structure and function is related. The ultimate aim of the Human Brain Project is to understand the human brain. This is only possible when we understand the structural organization of the human brain.

    Prof. Katrin Amunts, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine,
    Forschungszentrum Jülich

  • The Human Brain Project will become a major driver of ICT in Europe.

    Prof. Thomas Lippert, Institute for Advanced Simulation, Jülich Supercomputing Centre,
    leader of the High Peformance Computing subproject