ARCHER2 Weekly Newsletter

Performance Optimisation on AMD EPYC

Online, 7 - 8 September 2021 9:30-17:30, 9:30-16:00 BST

This course covers techniques for improving the performance of parallel applications by optimising of the code that runs within each node.

Modern HPC systems such as ARCHER2 are being constructed using increasingly powerful nodes, with larger and larger numbers of cores and enhanced vector capabilities. To extract maximum performance from applications, it is therefore necessary to understand, and be able to overcome, on-node performance bottlenecks. This course will cover the main features of modern HPC nodes, including multiple cores, vector floating point units, deep cache hierarchies, and NUMA memory systems. We will cover techniques for efficient programming of these features, using batch processing options and compiler options as well as hand tuning of code. The course will also contain an introduction to the use of Cray performance analysis tools.

Further details and registration

ARCHER2 for software package users

Online 31 August 2021 10:00 - 16:00 BST

This lesson provides an introduction to using ARCHER2 for users who:

  • have already used other HPC systems; and
  • want to use pre-installed simulation/modelling packages rather than compiling their own.

The lesson aims to answer the following questions:

  • What hardware is available on ARCHER2?
  • What does it consist of (login nodes, compute nodes, file systems, backup)?
  • How does this impact me as a user?
  • How can I access ARCHER2 interactively and transfer data?
  • What does the ARCHER2 software environment look like and how do I access software?
  • How do I write job submission scripts and submit them to the ARCHER2 scheduler?
  • How can I be a good ARCHER2 citizen?
  • How can I check what resources I am using and look at historical usage?
  • What are the next steps for me using ARCHER2 and how can I get more help?

Further details and registration

HPC-Europa3 Transnational Access visitor programme

Call for applications: next closing date 9th September 2021.

HPC-Europa3 funds collaborative research visits for computational scientists in any discipline which can use High Performance Computing (HPC). Visits can currently be made to research institutes in Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain or the UK. UK-based researchers can benefit in two ways: either by visiting a research group elsewhere in Europe, or by hosting a research visitor from another country.

What does HPC-Europa3 provide?

  • Funding for travel, living and accommodation expenses for visits of up to 13 weeks.
  • Access to world-class High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities.
  • Technical support to help you make best use of the HPC systems.
  • Collaborative environment with an expert in your field of research.

Who can apply?

  • Researchers of all levels, from postgraduate to full professors.
  • Researchers from academia or industry.
  • Researchers currently working in a European Union country or Associated State (see for full list of Associated States).
  • Researchers may not visit a group in the country where they currently work.
  • A small number of places may be available for researchers working outside these countries - please contact for more information.

How do I apply?

Apply online at

The next closing date is 9th September 2021. Applicants are likely to receive the decision in the second half of October, so visits should be planned for no earlier than mid-November, but must be complete by 30th April 2022, when the programme ends.

Applications can be submitted at any time. You should receive a decision approximately 6 weeks after the closing date.

We expect there to be one further closing date in November. However, if all places are filled after the September call, there will be no further calls under this programme, and there is currently no new HPC-Europa programme planned. Therefore, applicants are strongly advised to submit their proposal for the September closing date. This also potentially gives an opportunity to resubmit an unsuccessful proposal if the November closing date goes ahead.

For more information and to apply online, visit:

For overview videos and interviews with recent visitors, see:

Follow HPC-Europa3 on Twitter for project news:

Introduction to using Firedrake on ARCHER2

Online, 23 August 2021 13:00 - 17:00 BST (12:00 - 16:00 UTC)

This course will introduce users to Firedrake, an automated system for the solution of partial differential equations (PDEs) using the finite element method (FEM).

Participants will get hands on experience:

  • Writing the weak form of a PDE in UFL (domain specific language for expressing finite element problems)
  • Solving a range of different PDEs using Firedrake
  • Configuring solvers and preconditioners for HPC
  • Running Firedrake in a HPC environment on ARCHER2

Further details and registration

Parallel Performance Analysis using Scalasca

Online, Tues 27th and Thurs 29th July 2021 09:30 - 16:30 BST

Scalasca is a software tool that supports the performance optimization of parallel programs by measuring and analyzing their runtime behaviour. It uses execution profiles and traces generated by the community-developed Score-P instrumentation and measurement infrastructure. The analysis identifies potential performance bottlenecks – in particular those concerning communication and synchronization – and offers guidance in exploring their causes.

Scalasca targets mainly scientific and engineering applications based on the programming interfaces MPI and OpenMP, including hybrid applications based on a combination of the two. The tool has been specifically designed for use on large-scale systems, but is also well suited for small- and medium-scale HPC platforms. The software is available for free download under the New BSD open-source license.

This online course, delivered by members of the Scalasca development team, will cover how to use the tool in practice. Attendees are encouraged to analyse the performance of their own applications, although example parallel programs will be made available. Practical exercises will be conducted on the UK National HPC Service ARCHER2, an HPE Cray EX system; attendees will be given accounts on ARCHER2 for the duration of the course.

Further details and registration

Upcoming ARCHER2 Training

  • ARCHER2 for software package users, Online, 31 August 2021 10:00 - 16:00 BST
  • Performance Optimisation on AMD EPYC, Online, 7 - 8 September 2021 9:30-17:30, 9:30-16:00 BST
  • Understanding Package Performance, Online, 28 October 2021 09:30 - 16:30 BST
  • Message-passing Programming with MPI, Online, always-open self-service course
  • Shared Memory Programming with OpenMP, Online, always-open self-service course

Further details

New virtual tutorials will be announced soon via: ARCHER2 website:


Recordings of past virtual tutorials can be found here: