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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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GPU Cluster

System Name GPU Cluster
Manufacturer/ Model SuperMicro
CPU Intel Xeon
CPU Clock 2.4 GHz
CPU Cores 96
GPU's 22
Memory 24GB
Peak Performance 12 TFlops
Linpack Performance 16 TFlops
Interconnect Gig/Infiniband
Storage (formatted capacity) 14 TB
Launch date 2010


GPU Hardware

The GPU Cluster consist of 5 compute nodes and 9 storage nodes which achieves a performance of 16TFLOPS. Each node entails 4 Tesla GPU's, 2x Intel Nehalem X5550 CPU's, 6x Supermicro 4GB DDR3-1066ECC REGISTER, 1x 250 SATA Enterprise Level Hard Drive.

Two types of Nvidia Teslas: C1060 and C2070








Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 09:27

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Tsessebe Cluster (SUN)


System Name Sun Hapertown Sun Nehalem Sun Westmere Dell Westmere SMP (M9000-64)
CPU Intel Xeon Processor Intel Nehalem Processor Intel Westmere Processor Intel Westmere Processor Sparc Processor

CPU Clock

3.0 GHz 2.93 GHz 2.93 GHz 2.93 GHz 1.9 GHz
CPU Cores 384 2304 1152 2880 256 (512 Threads)
Memory 768 GB 3456 GB 2304 GB 8640 GB 2048 GB
Peak Performance 3 TFlops 24 TFlops 13.5 TFlops 37.1 TFlops 2 TFlops
Linpack Performance - 61.5 TFlops 61.5 TFlops 61.5 TFlops -
Interconnect Jupiter Connector QDR Infiniband Network QDR Infiniband Network QDR Infiniband Network QDR Infiniband Network
Sun Shared Storage 480 TB (Multi-cluster) 480 TB (Multi-cluster) 480 TB (Multi-cluster) 480 TB (Multi-cluster) 5.3 TB XFS
Launch date September 2009 September 2009 September 2011 October 2011 September 2009


An overview of the Sun Hybrid System


Sun Shared Storage

  • Dual Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors.
  • 48 integrated SATA disk drives onboard.
  • 10 X 4540 each with 48TB of storage.
  • Total of  1PB of storage.
  • Storage is provided with Lustre as a system.
  • Storage is connected to the QDR Infiniband switch.

Sun Visualization

  • Sun visualization software includes ParaView, Open Scene Graph and Chromium.
  • Shared software provide VirtualGL, Virtual Network. Computing(TurboVNC) and Sun N1Grid Engine.
  • High-Performance graphics accelerator NVIDIA Quadro Plex
  • Sun Fire X4600 server.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 12:54

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CHPC in the News

Documentation for users:

Tsessebe Cluster Unavailable

Graphical Processing Unit Cluster Unavailable

CHPC SAGrid Cluster Available

Dirisa Storage Unit Unavailable

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