The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) is the partner for Swiss universities and research institutions in the field of high-performance computing (HPC). Its basic task is to provide scientists with the computing infrastructure and expertise they need for their research. To do this, CSCS operates the very latest supercomputers and has an international 60-person team to offer its users all the expertise and efficient support they need with HPC. Although CSCS is essentially a service organisation for academic and government researchers, it is also available to users from business and industry.
HPC (High-performance computing) has gained enormously in importance over the last ten years. Whether it is in physics, materials science, health science, chemistry, biology, and increasingly, also in the humanities and social sciences and economics, HPC has become an essential enabling technology that supplements theory and experimentation.
With the increasing complexity of computational models, high-performance computing has become a key tool of modern research. Computer models for solving scientific problems are therefore an established component of scientific method alongside experiments and theory. The simulations, which are created with supercomputers that work massively parallel nowadays, provide completely new insights in science and boost the creativity of engineers. They visualise what remains invisible to the naked eye, even with high-resolution microscopes or telescopes.
As a centre that specialises in supercomputing, CSCS not only supports scientists on everything to do with HPC, it also brings together researchers from different institutions and encourages research partnerships. In order to be able to influence the latest developments in HPC and take part in them, CSCS works with the world's leading computing centres and hardware manufacturers. This development, together with the High-Performance Computing and Networking (HPCN) strategy that is being supported by the Swiss government, means that CSCS is now the driving force behind innovation in computational research in Switzerland: the very latest computer architecture helps to ensure that users' codes run quickly so they can focus more on their scientific results.