The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) has been researching promising petascaling techniques, as well as related work on optimization techniques and the study of software libraries and programming models suitable for petascale computing. The combined work has laid the foundation for the efficient exploitation of the upcoming Tier-0 systems. The applications studied cover a variety of scientific areas and represent European high-performance computing use, with most of them originating from the European scientific community. The applications were ported, evaluated, and scaled on the PRACE supercomputer prototypes. Each application was ported to an average of three prototype systems. Porting to cluster-based systems encountered the fewest problems, while programs that were ported to Cell-based prototypes required a major time investment. PRACE researchers say it was essential to tune the options and parameters used when compiling and running a program, such as the choice of numerical libraries and compiler options. The project developed a tool for studying optimal compiler options and platform-specific recommendations. PRACE researchers also explored the programming models and software libraries required by petascale applications, and completed a survey and analysis of the new upcoming programming models and languages suitable for such programs.
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