A leading European group of cosmology investigators brought together by professor Stephen Hawking is deploying new software on its supercomputer to make understanding the universe easier.

Hawking, principal investigator for the COSMOS consortium, said, “Without supercomputers like our COSMOS platform we would not be able to reach out and make contact between theory and the real universe to test whether our ideas are right.”

The consortium is now using Allinea DDT and Allinea MAP software on its COSMOS_IX supercomputer, one of the world’s largest shared-memory supercomputers.

With COSMOS_IX being a part of DiRAC - the UK’s integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical modeling and HPC-based research - many researchers in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology will get access to the Allinea Software tools, which will be run over Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi co-processors on the supercomputer.

COSMOS system administrator Andrey Kaliazin said: "Cosmology is extremely competitive with a lot of groups working on related projects so it is important to get your code valid, consistent and fast to get the results when you need them.”

COSMOS has been using Allinea DDT to help adapt CAMB, a complex code used to analyse data from the NASA WMAP and ESA Planck satellites, for the Intel Xeon Phi architecture.

Another challenge for the consortium is the existence of legacy codes written in Fortran and C. Kaliazin says the consortium anticipates using Allinea MAP in combination with Allinea DDT to update these codes.

“Bringing these two tools under one hood creates a clear advantage for us,” says Kaliazin.

“We could run Allinea MAP to see where the bottlenecks are, then attack that particular part of the code to parallelise it, while keeping it bug-free with Allinea DDT. Then run it through the profiler again, and go in a circle until we get the whole thing parallelised as much as possible.”