Nordic High Performance Computing (NHPC)

National High Performance Computing (HPC) organisations of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland have pooled resources and powered up an innovative joint supercomputer in Iceland. It is innovative not so much for its technology, but for its concept, placement and operations.

The computer is part of a pilot initiative aiming to test remote hosting, such that computing is brought to the energy source and not vice versa, as is the norm, thereby introducing substantial savings. Further aims are to understand the political, organizational and technical aspects of joint ownership, administration and operation of such expensive and strategic infrastructure. Due to growing power consumption, supercomputing costs are an increasing economic burden for researchers and their universities. Iceland is an attractive location, with powerful natural resources providing very low-cost electricity and cost-efficient cooling solutions. Some of the aims of the project are:

  •  Sharing computational resources across country boundaries by joint procurement
  •  Differences in the procedures for procurement in the national eInfrastructures.
  •  Identifying suitable models for organization, governance, procurement, operations and usage, and funding for resources that are   shared by multiple countries
  •  Using environmental aspects, such as renewable energy and energy-efficiency, as parameters in procurements
  •  Promoting cross-border cooperation in computational science.



Green Energy

In Iceland, energy is produced not only at low cost but also from CO2-neutral renewable hydro- and geothermal energy sources. Due to Iceland’s geographical location, it is not feasible to transfer electricity to Europe. Hardware, however, can be moved, and so can data, via the trans-Atlantic fibre optic data-network infrastructure.