The PDC Center for High Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm is the leading provider of HPC services for academic research in Sweden. PDC is located centrally in Stockholm under the auspices of the KTH EECS School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. PDC’s services are made available to Swedish and European researchers, respectively via the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) and PRACE. PDC also provides its services to the commercial sector via collaborative projects. The main HPC system at PDC is Dardel, an HPE Cray EX supercomputer with a LINPACK peak performance of nearly 2.28 petaflops for the first phase of the system. The performance is expected to increase to about 13.5 petaflops when the second phase comes into operation in mid-2022. 

PDC was founded in 1990, to provide HPC computing and storage resources, together with advanced system and application support, to Swedish academic researchers, particularly in the Stockholm region. Since then, PDC has grown to be one of Sweden’s major national supercomputing centres, and is involved with a range of national and international projects and research centres. As a centre serving the Stockholm region, PDC collaborates closely with the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University and other KTH departments, although about half of PDC’s usage is generated by researchers elsewhere in Sweden or Europe via SNIC. PDC’s facilities are also used for some commercial research (for example, by Scania). To support European industry and innovation through the use of HPC, PDC offers both commercial and open-source software suitable for use in many different industry segments. PDC’s activities are funded primarily by the Swedish Research Council (VR) through SNIC, and by KTH, with additional support from various Scandinavian and European HPC research projects. 

Education and training at PDC

PDC offers a comprehensive education and training program with the flagship being the PDC summer school. Held annually, the school offers an introduction to high performance computing for local and international students and researchers (both from academia and the commercial sector). PDC also runs an ongoing programme of seminars on topics of interest for HPC, with invited speakers from all over the world. Staff from PDC are involved with various HPC courses that are offered at KTH and at other Swedish academic institutions. PDC also contributes computing resources for many courses both on the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

HPC Services at PDC

During 2021 and 2022, a new main HPC system is being installed at PDC in two phases. The supercomputer is an HPE Cray EX, known as Dardel. The first phase is a large CPU partition, which is suited to a broad range of computational applications, and the second phase is a partition based on GPUs, which is intended for the most computationally demanding applications. PDC also provides storage and data management services, including facilities for long-term archiving. Additionally PDC offers expert support for application tuning and scaling in a number of disciplines, including fluid dynamics, molecular dynamics, computational chemistry, bioinformatics, and neuroinformatics.

Research interests and projects at PDC

PDC is an active member of the major European HPC infrastructure projects (notably PRACE, HPC-Europa3, EOSC-Nordic and NeIC) and is heavily involved in exascale research projects, such as the PDC-led BioExcel Centre of Excellence for Biomolecular Research and the EXCELLERAT Centre of Excellence for Engineering Applications, as well as the EPiGRAM-HS project. PDC also collaborates on many other related projects such as Sage2 and the Human Brain Project. Additionally, PDC supports a wide variety of researchers from KTH and elsewhere in their research projects by providing HPC resources and expertise. In this capacity, PDC takes part in several projects at a national level (for example, through the Swedish e-Science Research Centre or SeRC, and the Swedish Research Council or VR), and also at the international level (for example, in relation to the European Commission and Nordforsk). In addition, PDC hosts the Swedish member of the LUMI Support Team (LUST).

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