In January this year, the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) launched ten centres of excellence that will improve existing computing codes over the next four years to exploit the potential of exascale supercomputers. One of them is the SPACE (Scalable Parallel Astrophysical Codes for Exascale) Centre of Excellence, which will involve scientists from IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center. The SPACE project aims to redesign selected codes to fully utilise new computing architectures and use new programming methods, software solutions, and HPC libraries.

In astrophysics and cosmology, numerical simulations using high-performance computing (HPC) are an invaluable tool to support scientific discovery. Given the tasks' complexity, they are essential tools for modelling, interpreting, and understanding physical processes occurring beyond the observable universe. Advances in computing power promise a whole new range of ground-breaking scientific discoveries, thanks to the ability to perform more extensive numerical simulations, provided that equally advanced tools are developed to exploit these computational resources. The importance of these developments must be considered for a field like astrophysics, which is hard to study under laboratory conditions.

"Future exascale supercomputers are expected to have extremely complicated, heterogeneous architectures. The numerical simulation codes currently used for these systems will not be suitable because they were not specifically designed for them and therefore cannot effectively use the promised superior computing capacity," explains Lubomír Říha from the Infrastructure Research Lab, who is the Principal Investigator of the project at IT4Innovations. Therefore, the SPACE's primary goal is to enable the use of current astrophysics and cosmology codes on the pre-exascale supercomputers funded by the EuroHPC JU and made available at the end of 2022, as well as on future supercomputers by redesigning or adapting existing computational tools for this next-generation hardware.

The SPACE project brings together scientists, open-source code developers, HPC experts, hardware manufacturers, and software developers to work together to redesign eight of Europe's most widely used HPC codes for astrophysics and cosmology to efficiently exploit future supercomputers. These eight codes represent 70% of HPC simulations in astrophysics and cosmology and were selected after an extensive analysis of their features and capabilities. Before deploying them on future exascale systems, these codes will be modified to be adequately used on pre-exascale systems. At the same time, the SPACE project will also focus on developing workflows and data processing using machine learning and visualisation and enhancing the capabilities necessary for deployment on exascale systems.

"The team from IT4Innovations will focus not only on refactoring codes for new supercomputer architectures but also on performance profiling and identifying trouble parts of the codes in terms of scalability and on optimising the power consumption of the computing infrastructure when running astrophysical simulations. We will be responsible for visualising the results of the simulations in high visual quality and will actively focus on integration tools, code deployment to individual standards, and community support. Furthermore, we aim to facilitate the use of codes and data, especially for new users and young scientists, and we will lead a group responsible for specialised training and education in astrophysics and cosmology," adds Lubomír Říha.

In mid-March, the kick-off meeting of the SPACE European Centre of Excellence members took place in Turin, Italy. Within the SPACE programme, selected applications will also be implemented, and their use will be promoted through a specific outreach and education programme aimed at creating a broad and skilled talent pool in Europe to promote the use of HPC solutions in academia to pave the way for the transition to exascale technologies and their respective successors. More information can be found at




The SPACE Centre of Excellence is funded by the European Union. It has received funding from the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking and Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Spain under grant agreement No. 101093441.