Since June 2010, the “Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe” (PRACE) is established as a persistent pan-European research infrastructure for High Performance Computing (HPC). It represents the leadership-level (Tier-0) of the European HPC ecosystem. PRACE has been created within the last four years by a consortium of as yet 22 European countries. A preparatory project, supported by the EU's DG INFSO, has built PRACE's legal and technical foundations. Today PRACE is an international non-profit association with seat in Brussels.
Four member organizations have committed to provide compute cycles worth 100 Million Euro each for 5 years, beginning 2010. Access to the infrastructure is exclusively granted on the basis of scientific quality through a truely European, science governed peer review process. The provision of CPU time started in August 2010 on the 1.0 petaflop/s supercomputer JUGENE hosted by Forschungszentrum Jülich, a member of the German Gauss Centre for Supercomputing. End of 2011, the 1.6 petaflop/s system CURIE operated by the French société civile “Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif” (GENCI) and the GCS 1.0 petaflop/s machine HERMIT at Stuttgart University have boosted the PRACE capacity substantially. In 2012 the multi-petaflop/s supercomputers at CINECA in Italy, at LRZ (GCS) in Germany and at BSC in Spain will follow.
As summarized in this contribution, PRACE is continuing its development within the first implementation project (2010-2012). PRACE-1IP is overlapping with the second implementation project PRACE-2IP (2011-2013). The third implementation project PRACE-3IP (2012-2014) is under EU review. As an important element, PRACE's Tier-0 infrastructure will be complemented by provision of supercomputers to European science and industry through national centres and national review committees (Tier-1).