The Swiss Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing (PASC) is a structuring project supported by the Council of Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Board) and, until 2017, by the Swiss University Conference (SUC). PASC started in 2013 and will last until 2020.

PASC is coordinated by CSCS, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre of the ETH Zurich, in collaboration with the Università della Svizzera italiana and with the other Swiss universities and the EPF Lausanne.

The platforms overarching goal is to position Swiss computational sciences in the emerging exascale-era. It is complementary to the supercomputing-hardware-focused elements of the Swiss High-Performance and Networking (HPCN) initiative. The PASC consolidates and builds on the achievements of the High-Performance and High-Productivity Computing (HP2C) project, which supported 13 large-scale projects in the period 2009-2013.

PASC aims to promote joint effort to address key scientific issues in different domain sciences through interdisciplinary collaborations between domain scientists, computational scientists, software developers, computing centres and hardware developers. Thus, PASC builds on the principle of co-design, namely that software codes exploiting the potential of the next generation of computing architectures need to be jointly and interactively developed by these actors throughout the whole value chain.

PASC is organized in four pillars:

  • The Application Support Network (ASN) pillar consisting of experts at participating universities that assist researchers in exploiting HPC platforms.
  • The Co-design Projects pillar aimed at bringing together the development of scientific models, application codes, as well as the numerical and system software environment needed in order to optimally exploit emerging supercomputing computing platforms for high-end simulations of the future. Project teams are interdisciplinary, consisting of researchers from application domains, computational science and applied mathematics, and computer science. Co-design projects address the following priorities for optimal exploitation of CSCS new and emerging supercomputing platforms:
    • Refactoring of key application codes that have significant impact on CSCS user program and re-engineering of their algorithms.
    • Development of numerical libraries and their integration into application codes.
    • Incorporations of innovative sub-systems (e.g. I/O, data streams, etc.) into existing simulation codes in order to support novel workflows needed for future high-end simulations.
    • Development of programming environments or components thereof, performance tuning and analysis/monitoring tools.
  • The institutional computing system pillar supporting the procurement of institutional computing systems necessary for the development work in the co-design pillar.
  • The training pillar supporting the Swiss Graduate Program Foundations in Mathematics and Informatics for Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering (FOMICS). FOMICS is coordinated by the Institute of Computational Sciences of the Universit della Svizzera italiana (Rolf Krause), together with the University of Basle, Bern, Geneva, EPFL, ETH Zurich and CSCS; it is supported through means from the Swiss University Conference doctoral program. The program is open to other participation at the condition they bear their own costs.