For some years now there has been a growing realisation that application software is lagging behind HPC hardware developments. While several Petaflop-scale supercomputers are now available worldwide, it is becoming increasingly difficult to exploit these machines with single applications. Substantial efforts are needed in order to enable computational science communities to solve problems with high scientific impact through efficient use of high-end supercomputing resources.
To help meet this challenge the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) has proposed a new type of domain-specific research and support structure: the Simulation Laboratory. Four such units have now been established at JSC in the fields of Computational Biology, Molecular Systems, Plasma Physics, and Climate Modelling, which have already been actively engaged with user groups from their respective communities over the past year. In October 2012 the SimLab Terrestrial Systems was started. Another SimLab in Neuroscience came on stream early 2013.
In collaboration with JARA-HPC at RWTH Aachen, the JARA Simulation Laboratories "Highly Scalable Fluids and Solids Engineering" and "Ab-Initio Methods in Chemistry and Physics" have been established.