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While striving to be a world-class service provider and an outstanding research facilitator, the CHPC recognises the importance of promoting its own research and innovations.

The ACE (Advanced Computer Engineering) Lab's primary focus lies in the pursuit of research avenues within HPC. This includes a mandate to port important codes to novel architectures, including FPGA and many-core solutions, to build a relevant skills and knowledge base of current technologies, to create our own functional hardware, software tools and HPC methodologies and to provide a service for transitioning such technology to local users.

The ACElab is currently involved in a number of projects pursuing these goals on a range of hardware architectures and software ideologies in collaboration with local and international institutions.


Current ACElab Projects:

  • The evaluation and development of products and technologies for HPC through the ACE Lab's test-bed cluster.
  • An investigation into the optimal configuration for a petascale cluster at the CHPC.
  • Research and development into Cloud computing at the CHPC.
  • An evaluation of the Convey Hybrid-Core system for use in bioinformatics.
  • Providing an off-line environment for testing configuration changes before they are made to the production clusters.
  • Providing easy access to compute facilities used for training and courses run at the CHPC.
  • Organising the CHPC Student Cluster Competition. 

Acelab Contacts:

David Macleod

Tel: +27 (0) 21 658 3974

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


David Macleod
Tel: 021 658 3974
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

David Macleod
Tel: 021 658 397


Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 16:54

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Flagship projects

In the past five years, the CHPC Flagship Project grants have provided the partnership framework to support the development of several noteworthy research projects.

As a result of this fruitful partnership, the projects have made significant progress in fulfilling their research missions. The CHPC currently has one running flagship project.

Current Research project:

Computational Research Initiatives in Imaging and Remote Sensing, University of the Witwatersrand (July 2010 - July 2014)

Through this flagship project, the CHPC aims to produce high level research in the project areas, graduate students with degrees at masters and doctoral levels, and to develop programmes for efficient processing of hyperspectral satellite data.

Read more about previous flagship projects.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:54

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CHPC Cyberinfrastructure

The CHPC is one of three primary pillars of the national cyberinfrastructure intervention supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The South African National Research Network (SANReN) and the Data Intensive Research Infrastructure of South Africa (DIRISA) complement the CHPC through the provision of high-speed, high-bandwidth connectivity, and the effective curation of a variety of notably large databases.



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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:01

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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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CHPC in the News

CHPC SAGrid Cluster Available

Documentation for users:

Dirisa Storage Unit Available

Lengau Cluster Available

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