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Executive Plan

CHPC Research and Human Capital Development (R&HCD)

The success and effectiveness of the CHPC: R&HCD Division will be measured by the quantity and quality of its high end computing outputs in the domains of:

  •     quality research publications and research degree outputs;
  •     innovation outputs;
  •     human capital development;

which support national and continental strategic initiatives and push research and innovation boundaries.

The focus of CHPC: R&HCD (and indeed the entire CHPC) should be on achieving these goals. The technical and operational strategy and acquisitions of CHPC should be geared similarly.

The focus of CHPC is on High End Computational (HEC) Science - this includes research into novel high end architectures, mathematical and programming algorithmic development and implementation.

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These outcomes are closely correlated:

motivated, highly skilled people make things happen.

The following groups will be mobilised to achieve this:

  • CHPC funded Flagship Projects - the number, role, rules of engagement, funding levels, deliverables and MoU's will be revisited;
  • Broadened and deepened user base - not only to inspire a larger number of people from traditionally computable areas to engage with HEC, but also to engage non-traditional areas, e.g. social sciences, emergency services, finance... etc.;
  • Virtual Research Organisations (VRO's) - which have become the bedrock of many contemporary grand challenge research efforts - and Special Interest Groups (SIG's) should be established and/or nurtured;
  • Particular focus must be directed towards engaging national DST/NRF funded research chairs and centres of excellence;
  • CHPC research scientists should be developed so as to be able to head effective research groups and advanced laboratories - ACELab and others;
  • National strategic initiatives necessitating a significant high end computing component (e.g. SKA, KAT, NBN, Space, PBMR...) should be embraced and supported;
  • Partner with industrial and commercial organisations active in areas dependent on high end computing;
  • Support commercialisation of research outputs and encourage public-private partnerships as well as collaboration with government funded research laboratories and departments;
  • Researchers throughout the country - in academic institutions, state and privately funded research structures, commerce and industry - should all be equally empowered so as to be able to perform high end computationally driven and supported research.
  • Foster the next generation of talents in eResearch and contribute towards the public awareness of HEC through effective outreach activities

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Inputs to achieve this:

Engage in national High End Computing (HEC) advocacy and discussions with:

  • University students and school learners;
  • Public and private sectors;
  • Media and society.

Employ appropriate research staff in a range of positions: full-time, seconded, part-time, associate; dual appointments; short and longer term.

  • Facilitate and conduct broad as well as specialised conferences, mini-conferences; courses and workshops;
  • Appoint post-docs and grant scholarships both directly and via flagship projects;
  • Send CHPC and other researchers on highly specialised, not locally available, training abroad;
  • Accommodate research visitors who are able to transfer advanced high end computing skills to local researchers;
  • Support, facilitate and develop national post-graduate qualifications in high end computing.

Meaningful research collaborations are to be established with other research institutes (nationally and internationally) in the HEC space. Promote partnerships between HEC researchers and experimentalists.
Promote the development of a national cyberinfrastructure ecosystem embracing networked distributed hpc/hec platforms and grids.
Formulate and implement a high end software strategy which embraces both the strategic acquisition and the development of HEC software. Expand range of quality open source and proprietary software on chpc platforms, targeting particularly fundamental underpinning software - in this the needs and advice of SIG's should be ascertained and simultaneously R&HCD must be pro-active. Strategy should be to develop and acquire open-source solutions preferably and upskill potential and active users.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:23

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Research & Collaboration

The CHPC's Research and Human Capital Development Division's mission is to enable world-class research through promoting and facilitating the use of computational technologies and techniques amongst researchers.

The CHPC seeks to advance scientific boundaries and foster innovation through effective partnership and through the training of a new generation of computationally skilled researchers in areas underpinned by high end computing, particularly those of national and continental strategic importance, to the benefit of basic and applied research in the public and private sectors.

General Users

The CHPC encourages general users from all research domains to make use of the CHPC computational resources. Please go to the support page for more information or apply for resources.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:42

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Blue Gene/P

System Name Blue Gene/P
Manufacturer/ Model IBM Blue Gene/P
CPU Power PC
CPU Clock 850 MHz
CPU Cores 4096
Memory 2048
Peak Performance 14 TFlops
Linpack Performance 11.5 TFlops
Interconnect Blue Gene Tree/Torus
Storage (formatted capacity) 50 TB (Multi-cluster)
Launch date October 2008


Blue Gene/P Hardware


As part of IBM's Global Innovation Outlook and the IBM-CHPC partnership, the CHPC hosts a rack of Blue Gene (BG4A) donated by IBM (Blue Gene for Africa project).

The Blue GeneĀ®/P system is capable of 14 trillion individual calculations per second, and is five times more powerful than the second-fastest research computer on the African continent (in Egypt). The Blue GeneĀ®/P provides 1024 compute nodes, each with four fully cache-coherent cores and 2GB RAM. The cores run at 850MHz.

These nodes provide three modes of operation for jobs:

  • SMP - a single MPI task with support for four threads
  • Dual - two MPI tasks with support for two threads each
  • Virtual Node - four MPI tasks


Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 15:38

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iQudu Cluster (e1350 IBM Linux cluster)

System Name iQudu
Manufacturer/ Model IBM e1350 Cluster
CPU AMD Opteron
CPU Clock 2.6 GHz (each node)
CPU Cores 640
Memory 16GB (each node)
Peak Performance 2.5 TFlops
Linpack Performance 2.5 TFlops
Interconnect Ethernet and Infiniband Network
Storage (formatted capacity) 44 TB (Multi-cluster)
Launch date 2007


iQudu Hardware

The cluster platform, aptly called "iQudu" (isiXhosa for Kudu), symbolises the agility, speed and size of the cluster.

Each node is equipped with two dual-core AMD Opteron 2.6GHz Rev. F processors (640 CPUs in total at approximately 2.5 Teraflops/s peak performance) and 16GB of memory.

The nodes are interconnected with the shared-file system of the SAN, accessed over the Infiniband 4X SDR 10 GB cluster via HTX from Voltaire and PathScale.

Eight of the cluster nodes are equipped with ClearSpeed accelerator cards.

In addition to local hard disks, all nodes have access to a shared storage system with a capacity of 44TB via a General Parallel File System (GPFS).














Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 15:45

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CHPC Student Cluster Competition 2013

Tsessebe Cluster Available

Graphical Processing Unit Cluster Available

CHPC SAGrid Cluster Available

Dirisa Storage Unit Available

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