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aiXcelerate 2019

Monday, 2. December 2019 - Thursday, 5. December 2019

in cooperation with


sponsored by



HPC Tuning Workshop

Mon, Dec 2  – Thu Dec 5, 2019

IT Center

RWTH Aachen University

Kopernikusstraße 6



This event focuses on CLAIX-2018, the new Supercomputer that has been set up in late 2018. In 2019, it was further extended to become the main HPC platform of RWTH Aachen University’s IT Center. It is currently the fastest computer among German universities according to the recent most TOP 500 list. (see


CLAIX-2018 is the main building block of CLAIX—the HPC Cluster of RWTH Aachen University—along with the previously installed CLAIX-2016. It consists of about 1300 nodes with two 24-core Intel Skylake processors and 192 GB of main memory, 54 of which are additionally equipped with two NVIDIA Volta V100 GPUs. As with CLAIX-2016, all nodes are connected via a fast Intel OmniPath network. An additional Lustre file system provides 10 PB of fast storage.
CLAIX-2018 is available to students and researchers of RWTH Aachen University. In addition, researchers from all over Germany can apply for resources on CLAIX-2018. Furthermore, researchers from FZ Jülich and RWTH with high demand for compute power can apply for resources on CLAIX-2018 (as well as on CLAIX-2016) as part of the JARA-HPC partition.

Focusing on CLAIX-2018, the aiXcelerate 2019 workshop consists of two parts:
Part I on  Monday – Tuesday: Introduction to Performance Engineering and Analysis. Presentations and hands-on exercises on prepared examples are open to a broader auditorium.
Part II on Wednesday – Thursday: Hands-on tuning workshop on participants’ codes only for a limited number of selected computing projects.
We are happy to announce Michael Klemm and Mikko Byckling from Intel as well as Thomas Gruber from RRZE Erlangen as external HPC performance experts, who will support the IT Center’s HPC Team as instructors and during tuning efforts.
Presentations will be given in English.


Please find agenda  here >>>  


aiXcelerate 2019 – Part I: Introduction to Performance Engineering and Analysis

Monday, December 2, 10:00 – 17:30
Tuesday, December 3, 9:00 – 17:30
We will introduce the basic terminology of performance engineering and analysis. Next to key metrics of application performance, we will introduce a workflow to identify and quantify performance bottlenecks and a performance engineering methodology to cure performance deficiencies.
We will showcase a selection of performance and correctness tools for shared-memory programming, message passing, and I/O. The presentations are also accompanied by simple hands-on exercises that give you a first impression of the tools presented when applying them to prepared code examples.

Course level:

  • Intermediate

Target audience:

  • HPC Programmers and HPC Users interested in learning about available tools to ensure correctness and optimize performance of HPC applications


Gained skills:

  • At the end of the course you will be able to analyze your code following the presented performance engineering workflow using the presented tools.

Registration is open!
Please register here until Saturday, Nov 30  >>> for Part I

Part II: Hands-on Tuning Workshop

Wednesday, December 4, 9:00 – 17:30
Thursday, December 5, 9:00 – 17:30
We will introduce the Intel performance tool VTune and assist you in applying it (and other tools presented in the aiXcelerate tutorial) on your own application code. Tuning efforts will focus on C/C++/Fortran codes on the CLAIX-2018 platform, with its Skylake processors and OmniPath fabric. We expect you to bring your own application code, ready to (build and) run on CLAIX-2018 with the Intel compiler toolchains. We further expect you to provide/configure an input data set for your application that uses representative code parts of your production code and restricts the runtime to a few minutes.
In the case you cannot disclose your application source code during the workshop and want to investigate the performance of your application as a pre-build binary, please ensure that your application is built with debugging symbols enabled.
In the case you are not able to bring in your own code, we will provide well prepared benchmark codes for you to work on, in order for you to familiarize with the performance tools and enable you to apply them on your own codes after the workshop.
Please contact us if you are interested to participate in the tuning activities by sending e-mail to

Course level:

  • Advanced

Target audience:

  • HPC Programmers


  • Targeted application running on CLAIX 2018
  • Tuning input set that triggers production parts of the targeted application, but restricts runtime to a few minutes.
  • Intermediate knowledge in parallel programming for HPC: (e.g., “Intro to HPC, PPCES, and aiXcelerate Tutorial”)


only by invitation!


Attendance is free of charge and supported by our sponsors.
Travel and accommodation are at your own expense.

Links to previous Events

Travel Information

If required, please make your own hotel reservation.You can find some popular hotels listed here. You may find a complete list of hotels on the web pages of the Aachen Tourist Service. We recommend that you try to book a room in the “Novotel Aachen City“, ” Mercure am Dom” or “Aachen Best Western Regence” hotels. These are adequate hotels with reasonable prices at a walking distance (20-30 minutes) to the IT Center through the old city of Aachen. An alternative is the hotel “IBIS Aachen Marschiertor” which is close to the main station, which is convenient if you are travelling by train and also want to commute to the IT Center by train (3 trains per hour, 2 stops)

Please, download a sketch of the city (pdf, 415 KB) with some points of interest marked.
You may find a description of how to reach us by plane, train or car here.
Bus route 33 connects the city and the stop “Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße” every 15 minutes.
Trains between Aachen and Düsseldorf stop at “Aachen West” station which is a 5 minutes walk away from the IT Center.
From the bus stop and the train station just walk uphill the “Seffenter Weg”. The first building on the left hand side at the junction with “Kopernikusstraße” is the IT Center.

The weather in Aachen is usually unpredictable. It is always a good idea to carry an umbrella. If you’ll bring one, it might be sunny!

Technical Information for Tuning Workshop Participants

Workshop participants should have an account at the HPC Cluster in Aachen. In case you do not bring in your own laptop we can provide a lend device for you; in this case please be equipped also with the ‘PC Pool‘ account (get it via Selfservice).

Please contact us and send us your HPC account (like ab123456) so we can add you to the project “hpclab” for the workshop.



Monday, 2. December 2019
Thursday, 5. December 2019