In this series of posts, we will present some of the national developments in high performance computing seen in Latin American countries. Today, we will focus on the two largest countries of Latin America (in area): Argentina and Brazil.
Argentina - SNCAD
Argentina's National High Performance Computing System (SNCAD, Sistema Nacional de Computación de Alto Desempeño) was created in 2010 for the purpose of recommending policies and coordinating actions to maintain and update computational resources in the country. It currently supports seventeen computing centers distributed over nine provinces by helping fund machines and support personal.
SNCAD computing resources are not integrated. That means scientists cannot easily run parallel software over different resources, and are required to request accounts on each computing center. Accounts may not even be possible in some cases, as centers are independent and have their own local regulation. In this context, a sensible advance for SNCAD would be to assist in the development of a national research grid.
Brazil - SINAPAD
The Brazilian National High Performance Computing System (SINAPAD, Sistema Nacional de Processamento de Alto Desempenho) is composed of nine HPC national centers (CENAPADs) hosted by federal universities, institutes, or laboratories distributed over seven different states. These HPC national centers hold some of the fastest supercomputers in Latin America. SINAPAD was formally created in 2004, while the oldest of its national centers started back in 1992.
SINAPAD's computational resources include over 10,000 CPU cores and 28,000 GPU cores for a total of 171 TFLOPS of peak performance. Most computational resources are Bull, SGI, and Sun platforms. These resources are available through specific web portals only. Each portal enables the execution of specific non interactive software, such as Brazilian developments on the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (BRAMS) and a probabilistic primality test. Although limited, this scheme enables research by some scientists that would not have enough resources for their experiments otherwise.