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July 2007
At a glance
Europe unites to foster HPC technologies with the launch of ParMA, an ITEA 2 project to exploit fully the power of multi-core architectures

• ParMA will improve the performance of conventional High Performance Computing (HPC) applications
• ParMA will enable the advent of power-intensive innovative embedded applications


Leading European HPC players from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, announced that they have joined forces to launch the ParMA (Parallel Programming for Multi-core Architectures) consortium. The key objective of the new consortium is to help the HPC community to benefit fully from the processor race while developing innovative, flexible and open technologies for taking full advantage of the multi-core architectures.

First analyze, refine and prioritize the genuine requirements
To fight against the limits of processors’ clock speed, processor manufacturers are now delivering multi-core architectures – with today dual and quad core processors and dozens tomorrow – while most applications, mostly sequential, can only benefit from the power of a single core.

The challenge is now to enable the current and future applications to benefit fully from the new processor technologies by either restructuring existing applications or by facilitating the development of new applications that fully exploit the power of parallelism on these new architectures.

The ParMA project will start by analyzing, refining and prioritizing the genuine requirements of the industry. A first version of the ParMA technology will then be introduced at the end of the first project year to gain experience with a wide-range of applications. A second version of ParMA will be released at the end of the second year for further trials.

Powering up parallel processing for a large community
As parallel programming is becoming mainstream in the era of multi-core architectures, the project achievements will not only be relevant to software engineers who have already developed parallel HPC applications in the past and continue to port and optimize their codes on multi-core architectures: in many domains, parallel code will again be developed and, thus, can largely benefit from this project’s achievements. Part of the ParMA software is open source and so available to a wide community.

The three essential goals are to enable:
1. Both the simulation of more complex processes and the modeling of more complex structures without increasing the execution time.
2. SMEs to acquire and run simulation applications that can be hosted on medium-sized systems when the power of multi-core processors is fully exploited.
3. The advent of innovative power-intensive embedded applications especially in industries – air & space for instance – which were “blocked” by the limits of the volume of the system, the power consumption, the heat dissipation, and the time constraints in communications.

About the ParMA project
The ParMA project is a 3-year ITEA 2 project, starting on June 2007 under the label #06015. It gathers European leaders in HPC technologies, including Research centers in Universities or Industries and Computing Centers, from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The 17 partners, across Europe, are a heavyweight group of ICT industry players: Allinea Software, Bull, CAPS-Entreprise, CEA, Dassault Aviation, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Gesellschaft für Numerische Simulation, Gesellschaft für Wissens- und Technologietransfer der TU Dresden, Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum Stuttgart (HLRS, Universität Stuttgart), INDRA SISTEMAS, Institut National des Télécommunications (INT), MAGMA Gießereitechnologie, RECOM Services, ROBOTIKER , Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Université de Versailles Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), Zentrum für Informationsdienste und Hochleistungsrechnen (ZIH, Technische Universität Dresden).

For more information on ParMA

Bull and AVL together help to reduce automotive combustion side effects

• AVL, the Austrian automotive ISV, has chosen a Bull NovaScale® cluster to create a wide range of simulation tools to optimize engine combustion and reduce emissions.
• AVL’s choice is a proof Bull democratizes high-performance computing (HPC), with the aim of helping enterprises accelerate the process of innovation

The pressure on the automotive industry to increase both the efficiency and the mileage of their vehicles while reducing the environmental effects of automobiles, especially in the area of emissions has led AVL LIST GMBH in Austria to strengthen its business partnership with the European IT company Bull in the area of advanced simulations.
AVL develops and improves all kinds of powertrain systems and is a competent partner to the automotive industry. AVL offers high-tech solutions in 3 main areas:

  • Easy-to-use and accurate simulation tools for the engine, powertrain and vehicle development process
  • Instrumentation and Test Systems
  • Development of powertrain systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and even racing cars

To run their simulation software on the best computing platforms available, AVL-AST has chosen Bull NovaScale Clusters both for their own computing requirements and for porting and certifying their simulation software suite, best known for the AVL FIRE Application.
The new Bull NovaScale cluster, equipped with the 64-bit architecture of Intel’s Xeon® 5100 and 5300 processors, satisfies the need for the support of very large computational models. This allows the engine and automotive developers to achieve the advances needed today by increasing the resolution of their computational models and to increase the accuracy of the simulations.

The combination of powerful and flexible Bull NovaScale Cluster 400 with leading edge AVL Fire software will provide to the automotive industry the ideal solution to address their ever increasing needs. Bull – with AVL - sets the pace in HPC and really shows a commitment to sustaining world class industries”, said Benoit Hallez, Director of the HPC Business Unit of Bull.

New software tools are becoming much more accurate at simulating the real-world behavior of finished products. As a result, “virtual prototypes” are gradually starting to replace the physical prototypes. This is a challenge which AVL can respond to by supplying a wide range of simulation tools with co-simulation capability – from IC engine combustion to entire vehicle thermal management systems and from piston and piston ring dynamics to vehicle optimization of fuel consumption and emissions.

Bull and Platform Computing: worldwide cooperation agreement to optimize resource management in HPC clusters

Bull and Platform Computing have announced their worldwide agreement for the availability of Platform LSF on Bull’s NovaScale® High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters.

Under the terms of this partnership, Platform LSF, the leading workload manager for distributed computing environments is available on both Intel® Xeon® based Bull NovaScale Cluster 400 and Intel® Itanium® based Bull NovaScale Cluster 3000. The Platform LSF family of products is fully integrated with Bull Advanced Software (BAS), to help users manage and optimize complex IT environments delivering higher IT efficiency, dramatically reduced cost of computing and guaranteed service execution.

CEA has been using Platform LSF software in its computing centre for a number of years and we decided to keep it as a batch management system when we replaced its computers in 2005 and 2006. Our motivations to renew our confidence in this product are multiple. It was of course intended to leverage and capitalize on past invested experience with this operation for running clusters,” said Hervé Lozach, Head of Scientific Computing and Networking Service, CEA. “The software maturity and its compatibility with a variety of architectures are also strong points of Platform LSF. In our case, it also fits with the Quadrics/RMS resource manager for TERA as well as the SLURM CCRT batch management needs.

Learn more

PROACT Group, new distributor of Bull servers in Sweden and the Nordic countries

Bull signed a new Nordic master distribution agreement with PROACT Group Sweden for the Nordic countries.


PROACT is a leading independent IT integrator for solutions and services regarding storage and archiving. With this agreement, PROACT further extend its offer for infrastructure solutions, servers and security solutions.

PROACT will exhibit Bull NovaScale servers in its solution centers and its new Microsoft Solution Center which it is building up in Stockholm together with EMC and Microsoft.

PROACT has a long presence in the market, and the agreement with Bull further increase our unique position as an independent IT integrator to offer combined Storage and Server solutions to the market”, says Olof Sand, CEO and President of PROACT IT Group AB. “This strengthens our position in the public sector, as Bull has a strong position in this segment and we have lately recruited people with experience from the public sector”, he added.

We are pleased to set up this partnership with PROACT, a company with significant storage skills and market reach in Scandinavia. Our business through partnerships is critical to the market expansion of our NovaScale and Escala lines of servers. This agreement will give our customers further assurance to benefit from an extremely high level of technology and service” stated Michel Lepert, Bull General Manager for Western Europe.

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