Booth of hpc-ch at ISC’11 Presenting HPC activities in Switzerland

Welcome to HPC in Switzerland

Welcome to HPC in Switzerland! – hpc-ch is the Swiss HPC Service Provider Community ( Our mission is to promote knowledge exchange between providers of HPC services in Swiss universities and research centers and to promote HPC in Switzerland.

In on-line and in regular meetings the system specialists of hpc-ch are discussing best practices and developments in HPC. Social gatherings of hpc-ch’s HPC specialists are building up a team spirit across Switzerland.

Despite of its size, Switzerland is an important global player in research, notably in science and engineering. This implies that Switzerland is at the leading edge on HPC and HPC supported science. At the ISC11 in Hamburg hpc-ch presents on its booth an overview of the HPC ecosystem in Switzerland. The focus is on th hpc-ch member organizations which are currently entities hold by the states (cantons) or the confederation. The relationship between the organizations located in different parts of the country is characterized by a friendly cooperation as well as a fruitful competition.

Swiss politics has recognized the importance of HPC as a pacemaker of scientific and technological research. Thus the Federal Parliament has adopted a national HPCN (High Performance and Networking) strategy which is now being implemented by the government. The HPCN strategy does not only aim to push Switzerland into the petascale age but also to enable scientists to successfully make use of petascale supercomputers. While the former is reached by investments in a new state-of-the-art data-center building and new supercomputers, the latter shall be reached by the HP2C network of competence. HP2C is a multidisciplinary collaboration on scientific level of the different research organizations in Switzerland, with the focus to improve the development of software for supercomputers.

Following the PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) paradigm, it is not sufficient to have just one big supercomputer. Consequently the hpc-ch’s member organizations are building and maintaining their own HPC infrastructures to provide supercomputing power for scientific projects which are not requiring petascale power as well as for development and testing of petascale projects.

The publicly well funded HPC infrastructure makes Switzerland an interesting place for commercially oriented entities. There are several industrial research centers located in Switzerland which are taking advantage from the HPC ecosystem as well as from the traditionally investor friendly political climate in Switzerland. The different organizations in the HPC field are also interested in a sustainable collaboration with HPC vendors and in an exchange of experiences with the industry.

Switzerland is a very interesting place work for talented scientists and engineers coming from all over the world. There is a sound political commitment in research and higher education, coupled with the political will for major investments into HPC. Furthermore Switzerland has to offer a spectacular landscape and a rich diverse culture offering cultural events for almost every taste.

Last but not least, Switzerland is not only the place for chocolate. Coffee is far more important for the HPC community, thus we demonstrate at the hpc-ch booth that coffee brewed on Swiss espresso machines tastes delicious and helps you to write your code or to maintain your supercomputer.


Michele De Lorenzi
CSCS Swiss National Supercomputing Centre
+41 91 610 82 08

Christian Bolliger
University of Zurich
+41 44 635 67 75