Tier-2 High Performance Computing Centres

What is Tier-2 HPC?

The Tier-2 layer of HPC forms a vital part of an integrated e-infrastructure landscape; it addresses the gulf in capability from a local university system to ARCHER, the UK national Supercomputer.

In 2012, EPSRC recognised the need for a Tier-2 layer of HPC, and invested a total of £8 million capital and £2 million recurrent funding in the establishment of five regional Tier-2 Computing Centres of Excellence.

Tier-2 HPC is fundamental because it provides a diversity of computing architectures, which are driven by science needs and are not met by the national facilities or universities.

Training of skilled computational scientists and computational software developers is also provided at Tier-2 level. The Tier-2 layer of HPC provides easy, local access and training for users.

EPSRC Investment in Tier-2 Centres

In 2016, EPSRC recognised that the Tier-2 infrastructure needed to be refreshed and reinvigorated to ensure that it continued to be fit-for-purpose in the rapidly changing e-infrastructure landscape.

EPSRC has invested a total of £20 million in six new Centres. Each Centre is a partnership between several Universities across the UK..

The centres are:

  • Peta-5 facility (led by University of Cambridge)
  • The Materials Modelling Hub (led by University College London)
  • JADE the Joint Academic Data Science Endeavour (led by University of Oxford)
  • HPC Midlands Plus (led by Loughborough University)
  • Isambard the GW4 Tier 2 HPC service (led by University of Bristol)
  • Cirrus (led by University of Edinburgh)

More details including contacts at each of the centres will be available from April 2017.

EPSRC Tier-2 strategy

Tier-2 HPC:

  • Enables new discoveries, drives innovation and allow new insights into existing scientific challenges;
  • Is open to any UK EPSRC researcher and provides easy local access and training for users;
  • Broadens access to researchers new to HPC;
  • Encourages skills and expertise in software engineering to support the range of tier-2 architectures;
  • Is integrated with the HPC ecosystem across the UK, both vertically (into tier-1 and tier-3) and horizontally to other tier-2 hubs;
  • Provides a diversity of computing architectures.

The EPSRC Tier-2 Strategy can be found under the "Resources" section of this page.

How to access the Tier-2 facilities

Further information on access to the Tier-2 facilities, will be on the website from April 2017.

Open access

National access, for all researchers outside of the Tier-2 hubs, will be offered to all centres through calls for proposals issued three times per year in conjunction with ARCHER RAP calls. These calls will be advertised on the EPSRC website, the first of which will be in summer 2017.

Contacts

If you have any questions please contact Katherine Freeman (01793 444213).