Published on August 7, 2007
HPC is the use of parallel processing to run advanced application programs efficiently, reliably and quickly.
Chokchai Leangsuksun, director of Extreme Computing Research Group and associate professor of Computer Science, Louisiana Tech University, who initiated the Thai HPC Consortium, said the consortium was expected to be the basis for the collaboration of professors in universities throughout the country as well as having links to global universities, especially Louisiana Tech University. The consortium will be officially launched in the next few months.
The idea is to help academic communities take advantage of the use of high-performance computing technology and to encourage Thai researchers to share not only knowledge but also resources, both in research efforts and technologies, among themselves.
This collaboration complements the government's Thai National Grid Centre (TNGC). It is a grid users' collaborative and high-performance computing is a part of the whole of grid computing.
"TNGC has technology criteria for applicants to use the facility, so if some applications do not meet TNGC's criteria they can use the consortium's HPC facility to, for example, conduct their proof of concept. We give them more flexible platforms," said Chokchai.
Solid collaboration began six months ago when Chokchai and his colleagues in global IT firms came to Thailand to donate four cluster systems for high performance computing - 32 CPUs each - to Chiang Mai University, Kasetsart University, Thammasat University and Prince of Songkla University, to allow Thai researchers and professors to benefit from the use of the next generation of computation.
"All four universities are founding member of the consortium. In the future, the consortium will have more members. The consortium will also have technology backed up by the Louisiana Tech University," said Chokchai.
Instead of being an individual effort, the idea is to be a consortium where resources and knowledge can be shared. The establishment of the consortium is also aimed at promoting a greater awareness of high-performance computing technology and training the next generation of computational technologists.
"The consortium's plan is to provide training courses around the use of high-performance computing. High-performance computing is not easy to set up and use. It is quite complicated and the systems require a high level of knowledge and skill," said Chokchai.
He said using high-performance computing technology is not the same as the linear approach of the old way of processing.
Using high-performance computing involves managing a combination of all technologies to produce the highest performances.