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bwHPC Concept

Baden-Württemberg's initiative on high-performance computing

High performance computing in the state of Baden-Württemberg has a long tradition. The current implementation concept for Baden-Württemberg's high performance computing (aka bwHPC) aims for

  • the implementation of HPC clusters according the following performance pyramid, whereas HPC clusters are classified with respect to peak performance and scalability:

  • permeability of the different HPC tiers
  • differentiation/customization of tier 3 resources to the requirements of scientific areas
  • providing HPC support at all tiers, e.g. via HPC competence centers.


The HPC entrance level, i.e., tier 3, will consist of the bwUniCluster (bw = Baden-Württemberg, Uni = Universal/University) and 4 bwForClusters (For = Forschung, German for Research). The latter ones will be customized for scientific areas, i.e., bwHPC domains, according to bwHPC. Funding of bwUniCluster by the ministry of science, research and arts (MWK) of Baden-Württemberg and 9 universities was approved in 2012 while funding of all bwForClusters were approved by the DFG and MWK Baden-Württemberg in 2013 and 2015, respectively:


 Tier 3  Operational since  Scientific areas, i.e., bwHPC domains
 bwUniCluster  January 2014  Teaching; General purpose excl. scientific areas, i.e., bwHPC domains, of the bwForCluster
 bwForCluster JUSTUS  December 2014  Theoretical Chemistry;
 Condensed Matter Physics;
 Quantum Physics
 bwForCluster MLS&WISO  December 2015  Computational Humanities;
 Structural and Systems Biology;
 Medical Science;
 Soft Matter
 bwForCluster NEMO  September 2016  Particle Physics;
 Microsystems Engineering;
 Materials Science
 bwForCluster BinAC  November 2016  Bioinformatics;


The HPC tier 2 will consist of the ForHLR funded in equal shares by the Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. The ForHLR supports in particular interdisciplinary topics related to environment, energy and material science and nanotechnology. ForHLR Phase I and ForHLR Phase II at SCC/KIT has been operational since September 2014 and March 2016, respectively.



Baden-Württemberg's HPC tier 1 and 0 consists of the Hazel Hen at HLRS/University of Stuttgart which is one of the 3 national high performance computer centers in Germany and funded by the national project PetaGCS and the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.