In early February 2023, NCI sent a delegation of five staff to Kobe, Japan, to attend the 12th Workshop of the Advanced Data Analytics and Computing Institute (ADAC).

ADAC is a collaborative grouping of some of the world’s biggest and most influential supercomputing facilities. Alongside NCI, members include the USA’s Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Japan’s RIKEN Centre for Computational Science (R-CCS) and Finland’s IT Center for Science, together hosting five of the world’s six most powerful supercomputers.

This latest workshop, taking place at the R-CCS campus, featured discussions on four growing areas of interest: Application and Benchmark, System, workflows, distributed AI, Portability, sustainability and Integrability, and Quantum computing. These topics both reinforce and further augment established ADAC working group themes.

NCI Director Professor Sean Smith said, “It is important for NCI to contribute and help build these HPC technologies of the future. The progress that the ADAC groups are making now will benefit researchers around the world in coming years.”

Additionally, NCI is taking a keen interest in the Quantum Accelerators project. While in the development of this technology, government, investors, researchers and HPC facilities around the world are exploring opportunities and looking into the integration of quantum computers with the classical computers currently in use. In Australia, our researchers have already played a leadership role in quantum mechanics, quantum computing, quantum network, quantum optics, and quantum sensing and methodology, using Australia’s supercomputer.

These newer streams build on NCI’s ongoing involvement in the Benchmarking group. Associate Director for Performance Optimisation Dr Matthew Downton said, “This active group meets regularly to collaborate on benchmarking software and methods. It’s critically important for all HPC facilities to have robust and rigorous ways of establishing the performance of their hardware systems.”

A highlight of the workshop for all attendees was a visit to the Fugaku supercomputer, 2nd most powerful in the world with a measured peak performance of 442 Petaflops (442 quadrillion calculations per second). This video, taken inside Fugaku, highlights the size and scale of this monster computer.

To wrap up the workshop, NCI was thrilled to take the baton as host of ADAC 14, which we will run in February 2024 in concert with the Supercomputing Asia 2024 conference in Sydney. This will follow ADAC13, hosted by CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique) in Paris, France in September 2023.

NCI’s Acting Deputy Director Business Development and User Engagement, Dr Jingbo Wang, said, “NCI is extremely excited to be hosting ADAC14 next year in Sydney, at the same time as we host Supercomputing Asia for the first time as well. We are maintaining and deepening significant relationships with peer facilities worldwide, and contributing to important discussions about the future of the HPC landscape.”