ICHEC embarks on two-year wave forecasting project

Inis Meain
Image: Prof Frederic Dias

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15 July 2016 | 0

The Intel Parallel Computing Centre at the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) has received additional funding from Intel to work on modernising the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) operational wave forecasting code, WaveWatch III.

This two-year project will see ICHEC collaborate with NOAA and Intel to modernize WaveWatch III for the efficient exploitation of Intel’s latest Xeon Phi many-core processor, code named Knights Landing.

The project is expected to be a significant boost to WaveWatch III performance at lower energy costs and will have a direct impact on state-of-the-art research investigations being carried out at Met Eireann and weather forecasting agencies worldwide. For example expert in extreme ocean waves, Prof Frederic Dias of UCD, uses the code to re-create rogue waves hitting the west coast.

Dr Arun Chawla, acting chief, marine Modelling & analysis branch, NOAA, said: “Wavewatch III is a community code for simulating ocean waves. We are an international team of developers from academia, government research facilities and operational forecasting centers. ICHEC brings a unique set of skills to optimise the code and improve its computational efficiency.

“This has become a critical issue (especially at operational centers) as new science algorithms that have been developed are hampered by their computational requirements. Having ICHEC in the team will help us significantly expand the capability of the Wavewatch III model and we look forward to years of collaborative development.”

In 2013, ICHEC became the sixth centre in the world to be awarded the Intel Parallel Computing Centre status by Intel. In total, Intel has invested $523,000 in the Centre.

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