The HECToR Supercomputer & Pushing past the Petaflops Barrier

Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 6:30 pm.

Speaker: Dr Mark Parsons, EPCC Executive Director.

Venue: Room 4.31, University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB .

Refreshments and networking from 6:00 pm.

This event is free of charge and open to all. No registration required - just turn up.


Since 2007 Edinburgh has been home to the UK's National High Performance Computing service - the HECToR service. The Cray computer is one of the world's largest computers and has grown from 12,000 processor cores in 2007 to 90,112 cores today. EPCC, the supercomputing centre at The University of Edinburgh, hosts HECToR at its Advanced Computing Facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

This talk will describe the history of the HECToR service and its capabilities. It will then look to the future of High Performance Computing - the so called Exascale - and discuss the many challenges we face in trying to perform 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (a million million million) calculations per second.

About the speaker


Dr Mark Parsons is Executive Director of EPCC, the supercomputing centre at The University of Edinburgh, and the Associate Dean for e-Research. He has worked at EPCC since 1994. During this time he has led a wide variety high performance computing projects from blue-skies research to industry collaborations. He has wide ranging interests in distributed and high performance computing and is a leading contributor to the European Union's PRACE research infrastructure. His research interests include novel computing architectures, particularly low-power data-intensive systems, and novel methods of computation.

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